Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in Research on Learning and Education

An interesting piece by Paul Kirschner (co-author of our new book on Urban myths about education and learning): “While a double-blind procedure minimises biases on the part of the experimenter, typical social science research – using a single-blind procedure – compounds the biases, especially in qualitative research!”

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Methods and principles from different scientific domains are, of course, usable in the learning sciences / educational psychology. One example is the scientific method. Often ascribed to Sir Francis Bacon (the 16th century natural philosopher and not the 20th century artist for those of you who are now going to Google® this or who need to disambiguate this for Wikipedia®) though it traces its history back to at least the 7th century BCE. We use it in many of the social sciences as a template or the ‘gold standard’ for how to carry out – or at least to a great extent plan and execute – social science research. The more I think about it, the more I get the feeling that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle – no need to Google this as I describe it below – also applies to education, learning, teaching and research…

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