#E891 Part 1: Exploring and examining educational research (activities 1.1, 1.2)

I was aware that there were inherent tensions in educational research, but not that there were so many, before reading the Bassey (2007) and Ball (2007) articles from the course reader.  It appears that debates on the nature of educational research, its purpose, its ‘purity’ as academic enquiry vs subjugation as an instrument of government policy agendas are still raging.  The threat of ‘policy science’ to educational research raised by Ball appears to have emerged again in the discussions regarding the government’s establishment of the ‘What Works’ network of centres to investigate policy issues, and the March 2013 speech by Dr Ben Goldacre (a medical doctor) on ‘Building Evidence into Education’, which focused on the potential use of randomised controlled trials in educational research.  It does seem odd that the government should engage a medical practitioner and not an educationalist to review the use of evidence in educational research – one would think that this role would require someone/several people from within the education community, perhaps supported by those outside the field to provide critical challenge.   More detail can be found at: http://www.bera.ac.uk/resources/dfe-review-evidence-education-0 

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