ERIC Number: ED164405
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov-24
Are Educational Research Findings Useful for Curricular/Instructional Decisions? A Skeptical View.
Shaver, James P.
Currently, findings of educational research are of little consequence to the curricular/instructional decisions of social studies teachers. Four basic conditions have created this inconsistency. (1) Since social studies teaching takes place among value and factual assumptions, decisions about educational practice are based more on value judgments than on research data or theory. (2) Generally, there is a lack of consistent, cumulative, definitive research findings on which to make curricular/instructional prescriptions. Most research is carried out by doctoral candidates and supervised by professors, many of whom lack commitment to research. Moreover, results that are merely statistically significant, although trivial in nature, contribute to the fragmented nature of social studies research. Research findings are sterile because they are abstractions, out of touch with reality. (3) The concerns of social studies teachers tend to be different from those of university professors who conduct and supervise most research. (4) The instruction/learning model that has dominated the design of social studies is overly simple. Therefore, social studies researchers need to reconsider the nature of their enterprise. Attention must be focused on those attributes of science which are applicable to educational research, including the role of theory in educational practice, the functionality of research strategies, and realistic goals. (KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Houston, Texas, November 24, 1978)