ERIC Number: EJ1138078
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
Comparison as an Approach to the Experimental Method
Turner, David A.
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, v47 n3 p406-415 2017
In his proposal for comparative education, Marc Antoinne Jullien de Paris argues that the comparative method offers a viable alternative to the experimental method. In an experiment, the scientist can manipulate the variables in such a way that he or she can see any possible combination of variables at will. In comparative education, or in comparative anatomy, which was Jullien's reference point, the experimental method is not available, for practical and ethical reasons. He therefore suggests using the naturally occurring variation in variables as a substitute for manipulating variables directly. The focus of the experimental method is the testing of theories and hypotheses, by finding a way to link single observations into a comprehensive test in a systematic way. It follows, in this line of thought, that the focus of scientific comparative education, as Jullien saw it, was to link individual, or anecdotal observations, to create a comprehensive generalisation or law. This has been a constant theme of comparative education since the early nineteenth century, and the purpose of this article is to trace attempts to make the study of comparative education scientific to the present day, in the light of different interpretations of what it means to be scientific.
Descriptors: Comparative Education, Comparative Analysis, Research Methodology, Predictor Variables, Data Processing, Evaluation Methods, Evaluation Research, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland