How science can contribute to the improvement of educational practice
Swann, J. (2003) How science can contribute to the improvement of educational practice Oxford Review of Education, 29 (2). pp. 253-268. ISSN 0305-4985 (Print); 1465-3915 (Online)
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The practices of students, teachers, educational policymakers and managers are laden with assumptions of fact and value. Clearly, assumptions of value influence the way in which individuals and groups construe the nature and purpose of education, but this should not blind us to the existence of assumptions of fact about how to promote learning and improve the conduct and organisation of teaching. Many of these assumptions of fact may be false or inadequate, and may therefore limit the success of our educational endeavours. Using the UK's national literacy strategy as its principal illustration, this paper shows how a Popperian approach to science can advance our knowledge of what is the case about learning, teaching, and the organisation and conduct of formal education, and how such a non-positivist science can contribute to the improvement of educational practice.
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