ERIC Number: ED207875
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
A Reconstructed Theory of Educational Research.
Jelinek, James John
Whereas rigorous quantitative methods (in experimental methods, data interpretation, concept formation, hypothesis construction) and formal style and format are essential in theory verification research, their applicability centers on the fact that in theory verification research, it is necessary to determine whether the strategies used for collecting, coding, analyzing, and presenting data were instrumental in influencing explanations and hypotheses inherent in a developing theory. For example, in the Behavior Control Perception Theory (BCP), William T. Powers proposes that the response defines the stimulus as organisms seek to control their incoming sensory data. In humans, the brain acts as a control system which interprets the real world in such a way that it comes as close as possible to matching the personal, internal world. Discrepancies between what one senses and wants to sense generate an error signal, which in turn activates behavior. Humans try as many behaviors (outputs) as possible to control the input so that it corresponds to what they want. This need-satisfying behavior system is composed of three parts: (1) reorganization--random, unlearned and energetic enough to produce behaviors until the error signal is reduced or eliminated; (2) redirection--a system of learned behaviors and strategies to reduce error; and (3) new information--used on small transient error signals. The conclusion is that educational researchers will make progress in closing the gap between theory and empirical research if they concentrate on examining the basic assumptions about stimulus and response upon which their work is based. (AM)
Descriptors: Behavioral Science Research, Educational Research, Educational Theories, Research Design, Research Methodology, Scientific Methodology, Social Science Research
College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 ($5.00 paper copy, $10.00 cassette recording, 25% discount for 10 or more).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A