Archive for the ‘Educational research’ Category
Judgements concerning proper or appropriate educational endeavour, methods of investigation and philosophising about education necessarily implicate perspectives, values, assumptions and beliefs. In recent years ideas from the complexity sciences have been utilised in many domains including psychology, economics, architecture, social science and education. This paper addresses questions concerning the appropriateness of utilising complexity science in educational research as well as issues relating to the ways in which complexity might be engaged. I suggest that, just like all human endeavour, approaches to research emerge out of discursive communities and can be understood as self-organising, dynamic and emergent over time. In this formulation, complexity represents one such newly emergent approach. I argue that it is important that researchers partake in critical and reﬂective discourse about the nature of education and conceptual frameworks, as well as about impacts and legacies of utilising complexity, so as to participate in and influence the ongoing emergence of educational endeavour. I conclude by suggesting a series of caveats for researchers considering using complexity in educational research.
Complexity theories have in common perspectives that challenge linear methodologies and views of causality. In educational research, relatively little has been written explicitly exploring their implications for educational research methodology in general and case study in particular. In this paper, I offer a rationale for case study as a research approach that embodies complexity, and I explore the implications of a ‘complexity thinking’ stance for the conduct of case study research that distinguishes it from other approaches. A complexity theoretical framework rooted in the key concepts of emergence and complexity reduction, blended using a both/and logic, is used to develop the argument that case study enables the researcher to balance the open-ended, non-linear sensitivities of complexity thinking with the reduction in complexity, inherent in making methodological choices. The potential of this approach is illustrated using examples drawn from a complexity theoretical research study into curriculum change.
In a recent analysis of anglophone scholarship, Baker and Heyning considered both where and when Foucault’s name was made to live and also analyzed the kinds of work such naming has performed, i.e., the substantive claims made in the name of or through Foucault. In regard to where and when, the most marked uptake of Foucault occurred in the second half of the 1990s in the humanities and social sciences, with the field of philosophy indexing the earliest discussions of his work.
Three predominant uses of Foucault in education appeared:
- historicization and philosophizing projects with relativization emphases (a more “problematizing” Foucault).
- denaturalization projects without overt historical emphases and with diversity emphases (a more “sociological” Foucault).
- critical reconstruction projects with solution emphases (a more “administrative” Foucault).
This paper takes off from Baker and Heyning’s survey of anglophone uses of Foucault by examining substantive examples of such recombinatorial approaches to Foucault and the plateaus they serve. It will suggest that specific responses to Foucault’s work at the turn of the twenty‐first century are sustained in part by historical propensities in the field to a) scientize and template theoretical frameworks, b) normalize‐govern particular approaches as standardized methodology amid swirling and recombinatorial tendencies, and c) carve out moralistic dualisms around their utility.
Hopes that the internet can improve teaching may at last be bearing fruit.
TheE 12-year-olds filing into Courtney Cadwell’s classroom at Egan Junior High in Los Altos, a leafy suburb of Silicon Valley, each take a white MacBook from a trolley, log on to a website called KhanAcademy.org and begin doing maths exercises. They will not get a lecture from Ms Cadwell, because they have already viewed, at home, various lectures as video clips on KhanAcademy (given by Salman Khan, its founder). And Ms Cadwell, logged in as a “coach”, can see exactly who has watched which. This means that class time is now free for something else: one-on-one instruction by Ms Cadwell, or what used to be known as tutoring.
So Ms Cadwell, in her own web browser, pulls up a dashboard where KhanAcademy’s software presents, through the internet, the data the children are producing at that instant. She can view information for the entire class or any individual pupil. Just then she sees two fields, representing modules, turning from green to red, one for Andrea, the other for Asia. Ms Cadwell sees that Andrea is struggling with exponents, Asia with fractions. “Instead of having to guess where my students have gaps, I can see it, at that moment, and I walk over to that one student,” says Ms Cadwell, as she arrives at Asia’s chair.
Education remains the trickiest part of attempts to reform the public sector. But as ever more countries embark on it, some vital lessons are beginning to be learned.
In many countries education is at the forefront of political debate, and reformers desperate to improve their national performance are drawing examples of good practice from all over the world.
Why now? One answer is the sheer amount of data available on performance, not just within countries but between them. In 2000 the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) at the OECD, a rich-country club, began tracking academic attainment by the age of 15 in 32 countries.
All-round education for life – a “truly outstanding school” in one of the highest performing education systems in the world
Hong Kong-China is one of the leading performers in the OECD PISA survey. It’s in the top 4 for reading, mathematics and science along with Shanghai-China, Korea and Finland, (while the UK’s results are in line with the OECD average – some way behind). I wanted to explore for myself what a high-performing school in Hong Kong is like. I was directed to St Paul’s Convent School in Causeway Bay which has achieved the highest value-added results in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination for the past 10 years and was described as “truly an outstanding school, excelling in all four domains of school work” in its Comprehensive Review report.