Scientism and Education

Empirical Research as Neo-Liberal Ideology
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(134 Seiten)
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ISBN-13:
9781402066788
Einband:
eBook
Seiten:
134
Autor:
Emery J. Hyslop-Margison
eBook Typ:
PDF
eBook Format:
eBook
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

"This volume offers a critical examination of the growing pressure to apply scientific principles as a means to improve education. The authors trace the ideology of scientism to the early faith Auguste Comte placed in science and the scientific method as a panacea to all human problem solving.
Foreword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii 1. Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.1 Chapter Preview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 2. Education Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2.2 The History of Empirical Research in Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.3 The Major Principles of Positivism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 2.4 Postpositivism: A Break from Scientism? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 2.5 Some Philosophical Criticisms of LPE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 2.6 Current Context of Scientism and Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 2.7 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 3. Epistemological Problems in Social Science Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 3.2 Critiques of Contemporary Social Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 3.3 Structuralism: Implications for Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 3.4 Conceptual Frameworks Shape Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 3.5 Kuhn's Scientific Paradigms . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 3.6 Popper and the Concept of Falsification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 3.7 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 4. Empirical Research in Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 4.2 Quality Education and Assessment Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 4.3 The Problem of Researcher Bias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 4.4 Conceptual Confusion and Construct Validity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 4.5 The Problem of Generalizability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 4.6 Same Evidence Leads to Different Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 4.7 The Direct Reference Theory of Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 4.8 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 5. Education Research as Analytic Truths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 5.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 5.2 Conceptual Confusion and Logical Tautology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 5.3 The Case of Citizenship Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 5.4 Empirical Research and Teaching Methods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 5.5 The Analytic Nature of Best Practice Claims . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 5.6 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 6. Empirical Research as Neo-liberal Ideology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 6.1 I
We presently live in an era dominated by scientism, an ideology that believes that science (and its rationalist foundation in modern epistemology) has an undeniable primacy over all other ways of seeing and understanding life and the world, including more humanistic, mythical, spiritual, and artistic interpretations. In being critical of scientism as I am, I am not against science per se: modern science and its ways of understanding and knowing the world are valuable, and we should be grateful for them. But it is the hegemony of the habits of mind that manifest pervasively in education that privilege science education, career, and research over other modes and branches of learning and knowing that I have problems with. I have too often witnessed parents overtly or subtly discouraging their children from following artistic or humanistic aspirations and pushing them for training and careers in Science, Math, Business, and Technology. In this society we say in a thousand and one ways that money, security, power, and ultimately fulfillment reside in these disciplines and not in the Arts, Humanities, and Philosophy. We valorize scientists, and even when they speak on subjects outside their domain of expertise, we take their opinions and pronouncements as definitively authoritative. When Science speaks, people listen. This hegemonic attitude towards Science and other subjects that require the exercise of our rational and intellectual faculty is reflected in educational research as well.

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