Teadusmetodoloogia Jack Holbrook Visiting professor, University of Tartu What is teadusmetoloogia in ENGLISH? Philosophy of science Science of methodology Or simply - Research methods? Important for PhD students Can we agree that what is important for PhD students in Education is to: Publish articles on an area of educational research. Develop research proposals in the field of Education. Write a thesis on educational research. And hence we need teadusmetodologia. Our Problem And for this we need: A) to understand what others are saying B) make ourselves understood We need to be part of the research community And for that we need a background in the research (educational area) Research What is research and what is expected? Is it empirical? Is it theoretical? Whatever it is, it is ORIGINAL This means there is a need to show it differs from the work of others. And for that there is a need to show what others have done/said/theorised. How does teadusmetoloogia help? The idea is that we can reflect on what we are doing. Irrespective of whether it is quantitative, or qualitative. Irrespective of whether it is natural science or social science. And assuming there is a method, is there a link with science? Philosophy of science CENTRAL CONCEPTS of science: (natural or social) • Observation • Experiment • Problem solving • Hypothesis • Laws • Theory • Model • Explanation But so we need more about our belief in science? Positivist Belief Science is nature and nature is science. From this all theories and postulates evolve and are applied. The focus is science as a product, a set of statements. Science involves the unity of science. There is, underlying the scientific disciplines, basically one science about one real world. An insistence on at least some of these statements being testable, amenable to being verified, confirmed, or falsified by the empirical observation of reality. Science is markedly cumulative and predominantly transcultural. Science rests on specific results that are dissociated from the personality and social position of the investigator. Science has theories or research traditions that are largely Where does positivism lead us? Science is the truth Observation leads to explanation and prediction. We can deduce the truth! We are able to eliminate false assumptions A story It is a hot afternoon. Location - the living room in an old Victorian mansion. The 7-foot (2m) window is open and curtains are blowing in the breeze generated by a thunderstorm that just passed. On the floor lie the bodies of Bill and Monica. They are surrounded by puddles of water and broken glass. Please try to picture the scene. Now change the picture. Neither Bill nor Monica has any clothing on. How did they die? Answer: They suffocated. The storm winds blew open the window, which knocked their fish bowl off the table, and it crashed onto the floor. False assumption: That Bill and Monica are human. They are actually Goldfish! Another story A man is walking down the street, sees a bar and enters. He asks the bartender for a glass of water. The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says “Thank you” and leaves the bar. What happened? Answer: The man who asked for the glass of water had the hiccups. The bartender pulled the gun to scare the hiccups away. False Assumption: That the bartender pulled the gun in order to kill the man And another A woman leaves home and makes three left turns. She returns home again. On the way, she passed two women with masks. Who were the two women? Answer: The umpire and the catcher. False Assumption: That the woman was walking on city streets. She really is on a baseball field Story 5 Two train tracks run parallel to each other, except for a short distance where they meet and become one track over a narrow bridge. One morning, a train speeds onto the bridge. Another train coming from the opposite direction, also speeds onto the bridge. Neither train can stop on the short bridge, yet there is no collision. How is this possible? Answer: The trains were crossing the bridge at different times of the morning. False Assumption: Sounds like the two trains had arrived there at the same time; it was just the same morning. Exploring the nature of science • What is the scientific way? • What is the relationship between the scientific way and research ? Process of Science Science as a process involves • Identifying the Question • Creating Hypotheses • Undertaking Observations/collecting Data • Drawing Inferences • Interpreting the Inferences/developing Theories • Drawing Conclusions Process of Research Research involves • Identifying the Question • Creating Hypotheses • Undertaking Observations/Collecting Data • Drawing Inferences • Interpreting the Inferences/Developing Theories • Drawing Conclusions Nature of Education Research Education Research (whether quantititative or qualitative) involves • Identifying the question • Creating Hypotheses/Making Predictions • Undertaking Observations/Collecting Data • Drawing Inferences • Interpreting the Inferences/Developing Theories • Drawing Conclusions Ideas on science from John Dewey • Education is a Science • The important thing is to discover those traits (by virtue of which) various fields are labelled scientific. • What are the ways, by means of which, the function of education in all its branches and phases, selection of material for the curriculum, methods of instruction and discipline, organization and administration of schools, can be conducted, with systematic increase of intelligent control and understanding? • How can educational activities become, to a less degree, products of routine, tradition, accident and transitory accidental influences? • From what sources shall we draw so that there shall be steady and cumulative growth of intelligent, communicable insight and power of direction? • Even in the things conventionally recognized as science, the insights of unusual persons remain important and there is no levelling down to a uniform procedure. • But the existence of science gives common efficacy to the experiences of the genius; it makes it possible for the results of special power to become part of the working equipment of other inquirers, instead of perishing as they arose. • The existence of scientific method protects us also from a danger that attends the operations of men of unusual power; dangers of slavish imitation partisanship, and such jealous devotion to them as to get in the way of further progress. • Anybody can notice today that the effect of an original and powerful teacher is not all to the good. • Those influenced by him often show a one-sided interest; they tend to form schools, and to become impervious to other problems and truths; they incline to swear by the words of their master. • Observation also shows that these results happen oftenest in those subjects in which scientific method is least developed. • Beyond science • An investigator found that girls between the ages of eleven and fourteen mature more rapidly than boys of the same age. From this fact, or presumed fact, he drew the inference that during these years, boys and girls should be separated for purposes of instruction. He converted an intellectual finding into an immediate rule of school practice. • • That the conversion was rash, few would deny. The reason is obvious. School administration and instruction is a much more complex operation than was the one factor contained in the scientific result. The significance of one factor for educational practice can be determined only as it is balanced with many other factors. Role of Thought Galileo first performed an experiment in thought, leading him to the hypothesis that the time of falling bodies is proportional to the square of the space traversed. His conception of what was measured, namely a generalization about relations of space, time and motion as the true objects of physical measurement, gave his measurements scientific status. Without these ideas he would not have known what to measure. Nor would he have known the meaning of his measurements after they were made; they would have remained mere intellectual curiosities. It was also his preliminary hypotheses framed by thought which gave revolutionary import to his measurements of rolling balls. Educational science (research) cannot be constructed simply by borrowing the techniques of experiment and measurement found in physical science. This could happen only if some way had been found by which mental or psychological phenomena are capable of statement in terms of units of space, time, motion, and mass. Nor have we as yet any other general hypotheses in the light of which to know what we are measuring and by which we can interpret results, place them in a system and lead on to fruitful indirect measurements. There is a tendency to assume that we are getting the material of a science of education merely because the techniques of older, better established sciences are borrowed and used. The net conclusion of our discussion is that the final reality of educational science (research) is not found in books, nor in experimental laboratories, nor in the class-rooms where it is taught, but in the minds of those engaged in directing educational activities. Results may be scientific, short of their operative presence in the attitudes and habits of observation, judgment and planning of those engaged in the educative act. But they are not educational science short of this point. They are psychology, sociology, statistics, or whatever. Educational practices furnish the material that sets the problems of such a science, while sciences already developed to a fair state of maturity are the sources from which material is derived to deal intellectually with these problems. There is no more a special independent science of education than there is of bridge making. But material drawn from other sciences furnishes the content of educational science when it is focused on the problems that arise in education. There is another connection between educational practices which set problems and the sciences that are sources of material for dealing with them. The objection to arm-chair science is not that thinking is done in arm-chairs. The objection is to the remoteness of the thinking which is done from the original source of intellectual supplies. This remoteness may exist in work done in laboratories as well as in the armchair of the study. It is found whenever there is lack of vital connection between the fieldwork practice and the research work. Assignment Write an essay on Educational Research – a science or an art? In your essay • Reflect on the Nature of Science and what is scientific about Educational Research? • What are the dangers of seeing educational research as a science? UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCE and nature of educational research Nature of Education Research Education Research is about developing a research question(s) relevant to the situation (questions controlled to fit the situation/concern/phenomena) and then seeking for valid and reliable evidence to answer the research question(s). Is evidence the truth? • What we see is not necessarily real. • Science shows that optical illusions do exist. • Observations are thus subject to personal ways of observing. In some cases these observations may differ. Is this physically possible? How many f’s ? Can you supply an answer within 5 seconds? Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years... Inference • Does the Nature of Science relate to plausible inference? • And thus does Educational Research demand meaningful inferences? Crime against Plants Crime scene investigation to explain past events. • Science deals with natural patterns and mechanisms. • Scientific knowledge is uncertain, tentative and subject to revision. • But does it provide insights into educational research? Who’s got the theory? • A "theory"-evaluation activity. • A set of 5 scenarios (proposed explanations for how diverse life came into existence on Earth) is put forward • Each theory is discussed based on its merits. From Nature of Science to Educational Research • Human values and personal feelings can deeply influence science in determining the questions to be asked and the criteria used for choosing among different ideas. • Science can only deal with natural explanations (not the supernatural). Let’s consider some theories Your task – which are acceptable? Guidelines for Evaluating the Theories 1. Try to identify the problem/question the theories are attempting to explain. 6. Give the major strengths and weaknesses of each theory, as discussed by the group. 3. Are there elements in the theories that are untestable? In other words, are there elements for which you cannot think of a way to design an (experiment/research methodology) that would produce data to support or refute the element in question? 4. Are there any elements in the theories that seem to be in disagreement with currently accepted “facts”? 5. Which theory could be correct? Give the major reasons for your answer. THEORY A • Life has always existed. • The life forms presently on the planet are the ones that have always existed. • There is an immutability to life (life does not change). • All biological types remain the same through time. • Man is at the apex of this static ladder of nature. • There is a fixed hierarchical order to life. • There is a “Great Chain of Being” that extends unchanged and unbroken from the beginning of time to now. • Some lower life forms may spontaneously arise, if proper conditions exist. • No life forms have ever become extinct. • Fossils are merely chance aberrations in rocks. • Nature is simply the monotonous and eternal recurrence of the same things. THEORY B • • • • • Life originated as an act of divine intervention. Life forms continue to arise by spontaneous generation. There is a “Vital Force” that drives the formation of life. Within each living group, there is an inherent perfecting power. In the animal group, this perfecting power slowly and continuously directs the evolution of the group towards the human type. • Man evolved from an orangutan-like hominoid somewhere in the vastness of Asia. • Species are not fixed, but are changeable. • Species change in slow, gradual steps, never in sudden leaps. • There are two basic laws which govern these changes: (see next slide) THEORY B contd 11. In every animal which has not passed the limit of its development, a more frequent and continuous use of any organ gradually strengthens, develops, and enlarges that organ, and gives it a power proportional to the time it has been so used; while the permanent disuse of any organ imperceptibly weakens and deteriorates it, and progressively diminishes its functional capacity, until it finally disappears. 2. All the acquisitions or losses wrought by nature on individuals, through the influence of the environment in which their race has long been placed, and hence through the influence of the predominant use or the permanent disuse or any organ, all these are preserved by reproduction to the new individuals which arise, provided that the acquired modifications are common to both sexes, or at least to the individuals which produce young. • Evolution, therefore, is the gradual change of species as a result of accumulated acquired modifications. THEORY C • • • • • • • • • • • Water is the basic stuff of the cosmos. Life first appeared in water. A primordial slime formed in the waters of the Earth. The primitive oceans of the Earth were filled with preformed, free-floating organs. These organs came together haphazardly, by chance, to form organisms. Most of the resulting organisms were monstrosities and perished in the struggle for existence. Some of the organisms were successful in survival and reproduction, giving rise to the organisms presently here. Fossils are proof of the monstrosities which failed to survive. Life forms first developed in water and then moved onto the land. Plants formed first, then animals. The line leading to man moved through a fish-like stage. THEORY D • The origin of life is unknown, but life is certainly very old. • At its core, there is a basic sameness to all life. • All organisms tend to increase their population numbers at a geometric rate. Over many generations, however, the number of individuals in a species tends to remain constant. • There must, therefore, be a struggle for survival in which some individuals die or in other ways are prevented from reaching their full reproductive potential. • Variations (some of which may be inherited) are found among the individuals in each species. • Some variations are favourable to an organism and help it to survive and reproduce abundantly. • Surviving organisms pass their hereditary variations to their offspring. • In time, great differences arise, until a new species evolves from an old species. • Evolution is, therefore, the change of species as a result of the natural selection of favourable variations in inherited characteristics. THEORY E • Physical events can have non-physical causes. • Life resulted from a single act of creation by a divine being. • Each of the major kinds of plants and animals was created functionally complete from the beginning, and did not evolve from some other kind of organism. • Changes in basic kinds since their creation are limited to “horizontal” changes (variations) within the kinds, or “downward” changes (e.g., harmful mutations, extinction). • The processes used by the Creator are no longer operating anywhere in the universe. • Processes today operate primarily within fixed natural laws; however, there is always the possibility of miraculous intervention in these processes by their Creator. • There is strong scientific evidence to indicate that most of the earth’s fossil-bearing sediments were formed in a recent global hydraulic cataclysm. • The Bible is infallible and completely authoritative on all matters with which it deals; it is free from error of any sort, scientific and historical as well as moral and theological.