Sunday, January 15, 2017

Why Educational Experiments are "Doomed" to Succeed?

It is often said that all educational experiments are doomed to succeed [1]. Here is my different take on this from the perspective of an educational reformer and educational leader.

There are tons of methodologies, experiments, strategies and their resources that are available to teachers. However, when a teacher designs a new educational experiment, it often means that he has exhausted most of the existing material that he could lay his hands on. He is so frustrated and so angry that he feels inspired to design a new educational experiment of his own.

It is this disenchantment and disillusionment with existing material and strategies that drives him crazy to find an out of the box solution. No wonder the solution is often considered crazy by the conventional wisdom. However, this crazy out of the box solution is seeped in the experience of repeated trials and errors of the available experiments that has convince the teacher of the inadequacy of those experiments. It is only then that he dedicates his energy in trying that wild card solution.

This wildcard crazy solution puts the teacher's reputation at stake. It is this challenge that drives the emotions to a pitch that the teacher thrusts all his energy, all his might and all his learning into making that experiment a success. It is hence that the teacher ends up changing the world and dooming the experiment to success.

All Academic Research is Doomed to Succeed: This statement refers more towards the inadequacy of research  and the subject here is not the teacher but a researcher. It refers to the blindside of research which is referred to as "we only observe what we want to see", and considers design of research experiments in which instruments tend to measure only the point of view for which the researcher wants to establish and keeping which the hypothesis are stated and ignores the measuring incidents that run counter to what hypothesis wants to observe. [1] refers to this kind of the blindspot.

[1] Brilliant ErrorsRobert E. SlavinDirector of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University. 

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