How Educating America's Students Can Be Based on Science

Various authors, Institute of Education Sciences, Dec 11, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) yesterday released this report, Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported by Rigorous Evidence: A User Friendly Guide. The report documents a research process that narrowly defines what is meant by 'science': "randomized controlled trials are studies that randomly assign individuals to an intervention group or to a control group, in order to measure the effects of the intervention." Readers will recognize this as the methodology proposed by an organization called the Campbell Collaboration (though you would be hard-pressed to find the reference in the report). It is worth taking note of my criticism of this methodology as applied to education.
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