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ERIC Number: EJ789723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1743-727X
Paradigm War Revived? On the Diagnosis of Resistance to Randomized Controlled Trials and Systematic Review in Education
Hammersley, Martyn
International Journal of Research & Method in Education, v31 n1 p3-10 Apr 2008
There has been considerable discussion in recent years about the role in educational research of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews (SR). Advocacy of these methods arose partly as a result of the spread of the notion of evidence-based practice from medicine into other fields, and of the rise of the "new public management" within government. These developments had distinctive implications for UK educational research because, over the last two decades of the twentieth century, it had come to be dominated by qualitative work of various kinds. A consequence has been that, after the dying down of earlier "paradigm wars," there have recently been signs of a resumption. This article is a brief reaction to a recent article by Ann Oakley ["Resistances to 'New' Technologies of Evaluation: Education Research in the UK as a Case Study," "Evidence & Policy," Vol. 2 (1), p63-87 (2006)] about the debates over RCTs and SR. In her article she provides a case study of what she refers to as "resistance" to the adoption of "new technologies" within education research--one which is designed to offer a "sociologically sophisticated understanding" of critics of these methods. The author argues that Oakley's treatment of the arguments of the critics of SR and RCTs falls short of what would be required to promote constructive discussion about the issues. Furthermore, much of her article is concerned, instead, with providing a sociological explanation for why the critics fail to recognize the great value of these "technologies". (Contains 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom