A hidden gem in the literature

I read a good deal of education research literature every week. Some of it good, some of it not so good. Some of it is unexpected, perhaps coming from a journal I hadn’t seen before or by authors who offer a novel perspective on an issue. Every now and then I come across a paper that makes me smile and exclaim out loud, “yes, exactly!”. I found such a paper recently and would recommend others to take a look:

Sidorkin, A.M. & Kulakov, A.M. (2015)

The problem of the invisible in Education.

Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 11(8), 2632 – 2637.

available online at: The problem of the invisible in education – тема научной статьи по наукам об образовании читайте бесплатно текст научно-исследовательской работы в электронной библиотеке КиберЛенинка (cyberleninka.ru)

The authors start by outlining the key barriers to the development of education:

  1. Non-dissemination of best practices.
  2. Minimal effect sizes – there are generally no ‘breakthrough’ methods.
  3. The dynamic conservatism of educational institutions – adopting innovations that require no change.
  4. Contextual complexity.

The authors then make an excellent analogy from Medical History and outline events from the first observation of microorganisms to the appreciation of the role of germs in disease transmission – a transition that took 200 years. The key message being that you need to ‘see’ with theory for it to make a difference. The authors then turn to our blind spots in educational research.

The authors conclude with a recap of their manifesto for a relational pedagogy.

Thus is a well-written paper that teases the reader to think about their own teaching and research. If any of the ideas mentioned above resonate with your perspective on educational research, I would recommend reading this short paper.

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