ERIC Number: ED160646
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Assessment As Exploratory Research: A Theoretical Overview.
Burton, Nancy W.
With the view that social scientists conduct too little exploratory research, the author outlines the methods and attitudes of the exploratory analyst and describes the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as a source of research data. Exploratory analysis, in which no paradigm is used, is contrasted with confirmatory research, which is designed to extend a paradigm to the solution of a new problem. Three methods of organizing exploratory research are described: (1) ordinary-concept research, which is organized around concepts or catch words; (2) social problems research, which is organized around important social problems; and (3) mono-method research, which is organized around a particular analytic method. Skepticism about which results are considered true and which are in error, attention to outlying data, and an unwillingness to make assumptions are described as characteristics of the exploratory researcher. Since exploratory research is most often done by reanalyzing data collected for some other purpose, the breadth, precision and accuracy of the survey data available from the National Assessment of Educational Progress is described, with an emphasis on its usefulness to the exploratory researcher. Sample paradigms concerning the conceptual framework of human learning are appended. (JAC) Primary type of information provided by report: Procedures (Theoretical).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO. National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Identifiers: Exploratory Research; Kuhn (T S); National Assessment of Educational Progress
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (62nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 27-31, l978)