ERIC Number: ED252460
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr-16
Reference Count: 0
The Law-Related Education Evaluation Project: A Methodological Critique of the "Impacts on Students" Findings.
Shaver, James P.
The major finding of the Law-Related Education Evaluation Project report for Year 1 (1981), that law-related education courses can reduce juvenile delinquency, is of limited use to educational decision makers and could be misleading. The research design leaves much to be desired; however, that fact must be considered in light of the difficulty of structuring educational research to meet the demands of experimental designs. A major disappointment is that the project assessed delinquency only through student self-reports of behavior. That assessment, without supportive indicators of delinquent behavior, vitiates the study's major finding. LRE will, under certain circumstnace, be associated with changes in student reports of delinquent behavior, but it is not clear if the reports validly represent actual behavior. The failure to deal with the importance of the results other than in terms of statistical significance or to report the information (correlation coefficients, means, and standard deviations) that readers could use in deciphering the results is also a major shortcoming of the report. An analysis of the second year LRE Evaluation Project, which was supposed to provide methodological improvements as well as replication of data relevant to the first year's results, shows that it contains many of the same methodological shortcomings as the first study. Educators are urged to be cautious about relying upon these reports to advocate law-related education. (RM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Law Related Education
Note: Paper presented at the "LRE Evaluation Project: A Symposium on Methods, Findings, Conclusions," at the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference of the National Council for the Social Studies (Phoenix, AZ, April 11-14, 1984). For related documents, see ED 247 164 and SO 016 110-111.