ERIC Number: ED463287
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Paradigm Privilege: Determining the Value of Research in Teacher Education Policy Making.
Bales, Barbara L.
This paper explains that despite the long debate over the relative value of quantitative and qualitative educational research and attempts to talk across disciplines, quantitative research dominates educational policy circles. As a result, quality qualitative research may not enter into educational policy conversations. The paper discusses whether there are times when the research frame selected yields potential limited answers, which are later used to inform educational policy. This is the case with the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy's (CTP's) 2001 research report, which summarizes existing research on teacher preparation. Only 17 of the 57 studies included utilized exclusively interpretive methodologies, and the authors constructed educational policy recommendations for the Department of Education using mainly quantitatively-based studies. This paper examines the selection and omission of two studies in CTP's report, asking how CTP decisions regarding these studies might mis-cue policymakers. It reviews the nature of paradigms and differences between positivism and interpretivism and differences in methodological preferences; examines criteria and methodology for selecting research in CTP's study; reviews the two studies to illustrate how different methodologies can present contradictory results; examines CTP's teacher education policy recommendations; and explores potential implications of paradigm privilege on future teacher education research and policy. (Contains 50 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).