WAIER logo Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc
2005 Research Seminar Program

WAIER invites you to an afternoon seminar to be
held at The University of Western Australia

Wednesday 19 October, 4.30 to 5.30 pm
Venue: School of Music: G 12

This is a free seminar open to both members and non-members.
Light refreshments from 4.00 pm onwards...
then time for discussion and interaction until 6.00 pm.

Trust and Method


Bruce Haynes

His retirement from Edith Cowan University as Program Director of Primary Teacher Education gives Bruce the chance to fulfil his intent to address political practice which infringes on the provision of sound educational research. Relating to philosophy of education (an area of his particular expertise and experience) his paper delivers an indictment on potential for honest educational research that might lead to a probing of real problems and not merely a means to perpetuate economic and political systems. Bruce deals with questions underlying funding and trust and directs us to query the 'What and Why' not merely the 'How and When.' We can rely on him to lighten the darkness with a dollop of humour.

Gadamer, in his book Truth and Method, claimed that truth cannot be adequately explained by scientific method. My concern, as indicated by the title of this paper, is that a narrow view of scientific method is being advocated and, in some cases mandated, because of a lack of trust resulting from a particular form of individualistic ethos dominant in our society. In this paper I shall draw attention to some recent discussions on method in educational research and indicate some of my concerns with a narrow focus on method as opposed to the more significant aspects of the conduct of educational research.

George W. Bush, the 11th President of Australia, has imposed on American education a "gold standard" of educational research which, based on Adam Smith's "trickle-down" theory of economic wealth, will become the mandated standard in Australia. Americans do not need a "gold standard" for their money because "In God we trust". American education needs a "gold standard" for educational research because the dominant political elite has lost trust in experts generally as self serving, ineffective, expensive and increasingly irrelevant. Politicians now ignore H.L. Mencken's observation that "for all complex problems there is a simple solution that is wrong." A "gold standard" form of educational research is expected to produce trustworthy results of "what works" in response to causal questions.

Please contact Eve Ruddock ruddock@iinet.net.au ph 9446 4030 for RSVP and further details

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