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Educational Research and Teaching: A Response to David Hargreaves' TTA Lecture

Martyn Hammersley
British Educational Research Journal
Vol. 23, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 141-161
Published by: Wiley on behalf of BERA
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1501807
Page Count: 21
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Educational Research and Teaching: A Response to David Hargreaves' TTA Lecture
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Abstract

David Hargreaves has argued that educational research fails to provide a sound evidence-base for teaching: it does not generate a cumulative body of knowledge; and it is not geared to resolving the classroom problems that teachers face. As a solution, he recommends that teachers play a more central role in setting the agenda for research and in carrying it out. I accept much of Hargreaves' criticism of educational research as failing to develop cumulative knowledge, but I suggest that the problems involved in this are more difficult than he acknowledges, and that what he proposes is likely to worsen rather than solve the problem. I also question whether research can fulfill the direct role in relation to practice which Hargreaves envisages. He appeals to the example of evidence-based medicine, but I suggest that this is problematic even in its own context. I conclude by raising questions about the sort of central planning of research that Hargreaves recommends.

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