The particulars of "When a Paradigm becomes a Paradogma"

Paul Kirschner, Mar 18, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

So a couple weeks ago Paul Kirschner posted an item called When a Paradigm becomes a Paradogma in which he protested that a colleague's paper was rejected from an unnamed journal on grounds that, as one reviewer said, "the research is not consistent with current theory, research, and practice in STEM fields of endeavor." Wrote Kirschner, "There are politically correct scientific paradigms and you had better be / become / look like a ‘believer’ in that paradigm or you will not be published in that journal." Now I haven't seen the article, but I have observed in the past that Kirschner is in error in matters of fact about how science is actually practiced. The way science is actually practiced is observable and knowable, and a commentator on that has an obligation to get the facts right.

Anyhow, I didn't follow up on it, because it's Kirschner. But now we have a new post where the journal is actually named - the Journal of Educational Research - and some actual correspondence: "The author of this manuscript does not grasp the meaning, purpose, or diversity of hands-on science instruction. I think the author is arguing for a return to the didactic teaching of science and an abolition of all inquiry science." Kirschner does not hold back. "What we are experiencing here is the transition from a scientific paradigm to a scientific paradogma - a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model that is so incontrovertibly true for a person or group of people that it excludes the existence and value of all other patterns or models." I'm curious to see the paper. And I've never been a fan of closed peer review. So let's see it posted openly somewhere.

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