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Main page » Non-Fiction » Educational Research: Why 'What works' doesn't work

Educational Research: Why 'What works' doesn't work


Education and educational research, according to the current fashion, are supposed to be concerned with what works, to the exclusion of all other considerations. All over the world, and particularly in the English-speaking countries, governments look for means of improving student achievement as measured by standardized test scores. Although such improvements are often to be welcomed, they do not answer all significant questions about what constitutes good education. Also the research on which they are based is not the only legitimate way to do educational research. Social research, and therefore educational research, cannot ignore the distinctive nature of what it studies: a social activity where questions of meaning and value cannot be eliminated, and where interpretation and judgment play a crucial role.

In this book distinguished philosophers and historians of education from 6 countries focus on the problematical nature of the search for what works in educational contexts, in practice as well as in theory. Beginning with specific problems, they move on to more general and theoretical considerations, seeking to go beyond over-simple ideas about cause and effect and the rhetoric of performativity that currently has educational thinking in its grip.

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Tags: educational, research, countries, considerations, questions