About this seminar
Many of those active in chemistry education, or science education more widely, have a background in the natural sciences where the experiment is often the preferred and highest status methodology. This bias is often carried through into educational research, where such researchers may tend to both (a) be more likely to be persuaded by experimental than other studies, and (b) assume they should carry out experimental work themselves. Therefore novice educational researchers with science backgrounds often equate high calibre research with experiments (and so quantification and statistical analysis), and aspire to design experiments themselves. Yet the research literature in the field shows great methodological diversity, and indeed suggests that often those who have been most influential in the field seldom use experimental designs. In this webinar Professor Keith Taber argues that although experiment is an important component of the research community’s tool-kit, the challenges and limitations of experimental research in education are such that new researchers to the field, especially those working on small-scale studies, should think very carefully before selecting an experimental design for their work.