Reading Research?

I was honored to have a colleague laud my Myths book (she was kind enough to also promote the newer learning science book), but it was something she said that I found intriguing. She suggested that one of the things in it includes “discussing how to read research”. And it occurs to me that it’s worth unpacking the situation a wee bit more. So here’s a discussion about how we (properly) develop learning science that informs us in reading research.

Caveat: I haven’t been an active researcher for decades, serving instead to interpret and apply the research, but it’s easier to say ‘we’ than “scientists”, etc. 

Generally, theory drives research. You’ve created an explanation that accounts for observed phenomena better than previous approaches. What you do then is extend it to other predictions, and test them. Occasionally, we do purely exploratory studies just to see what emerges, but mostly we generate hypotheses and test them.

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