Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I'm sure this will be a popular work (79 page PDF) describing research methods in education, but the philosopher of science in me wishes that it had been much tighter and academically informed; contrast, for example, this book's account of 'positivism' as some sort of realism (p. 14) with a proper treatment of the subject written by Herbert Feigl. The misunderstandings of positivism render the book's account of 'intepretivism' equally incoherent. But it's all for naught, anyhow, because we are presented with a relatively unsorted list of research methods (p.19) in a taxonomy that boils down to 'quantitative' and 'qualitative' methods (p. 21). And after a look at some processes and tools, a completely different taxonomy is presented anyway (p. 32). The reader is advised to just skip to page 33 and read the research method insights from the Global OER Graduate Network, which is where the real value in this volume lies. Or maybe better, read Research Methods in Psychology, an open text from BCcampus, or perhaps Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research, from Ohio State.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 31, 2021 12:55 a.m.