Friday, September 22, 2006

Sameness

Posted to ITForum:

ali carr-chellman wrote:

> .... The fundamental assumption that I am not so supportive of here is the truth is to be found out there and that it can be tested until we understand it fully. I disagree fundamentally that this is the single, primary or even the most important way we can ever understand our world. But that's completely me, and perhaps we now come to a new sort of fundamental possible disagreement in the field that may continue to fracture us and derail abilities to seek consensus?

I am in agreement with this sentiment.

It seems to me that one thing educational theory has been unable to address is the possibility of multiple theoretical perspectives, the possibility that there is no one taxonomy, set of standards, methodology, etc., that will define The Way to do education.

Certainly, any approach to learning theory that suggests that an experiment can be conducted in (say) a double-blind model in order to test hypotheses in terms of (say) achievement of learning outcomes in my view demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the enquiry.

We need to move beyond consensus, beyond sameness.

-- Stephen

p.s. (Not posted) - and why is this the case?

Because how we teach depends not only on the nature of the learner (though it does that) and the nature of the content (though it does that as well) but also on why the learner wants to learn and why the teacher wants to teach.

And there is no single characterization that will describe those motivations, and hence, no single characterization of how best to teach, how best to learn.

4 comments:

  1. "theoretical perspectives ... Certainly, any approach to learning theory that suggests that an experiment can be conducted in (say) a double-blind model in order to test hypotheses in terms of (say) achievement of learning outcomes in my view demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the enquiry."

    And you just demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of the definition of "theoretical," since nothing is a theory unless a hypothesis is derived from data, and empirically tested. There is no such thing as a "postmodernist theory."

    Theory is by definition empiricist. Do not misuse "theory" to give your ideas, based on no evidence whatsoever, validity they do not deserve.

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  2. You can say what you want, but you don't get to define words in such a way as to allow only your perspective to be correct.

    The word 'theory' is and has always been used in a wider manner than the logical positivist HD-Model you describe, both before and after it was described by Hempel.

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  3. Not used, but abused. A theory is a theory. A theory is only that which is empirically tested. The only reason you are trying to hijack it is to give your "ideas" legitimacy they do not deserve, because there is no research of any kind behind them.

    You demonstrate your own ignorance, but postmodernism is a celebration of ignorance.

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  4. It must be election time; I have attracted an attack dog who does not understand the subject but who continues to maintain his point without any argument stronger than "a theory is a theory."

    Again, you can sit there and claim that I am "abusing" terminology, however, this does not make it so. My understanding of the meaning of the word 'theory' is based in years of study and reserach into the matter, some of which I referred you to in my previous post (which, I notice, you ignored).

    What is your understanding of the meaning of the word 'theory' based on? What sources did you consult? What fields or philosophers did you study? Or - as is more likely the case - is your 'definition' more rooted in your politics than your reserach?

    (For readers of this post: rwp will not actually respond, he will restate his case and attack me personally, and continue to do this no matter what I say, in the premise that if he gets the last word in he wins).

    ReplyDelete

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