Navigating Paradigms in Educational Technology

Abstract

Paradigmatic pluralism in educational technology is a largely unaddressed reality, and we have heretofore not provided guidance to professionals on how to navigate it. Pushing back against mainstream views of scientific progress (e.g., linear, progressive), we must recognize the processes by which paradigms are born, adopted, and rejected and that paradigmatic pluralism reflects deep-seated diversity of ontological, epistemological, and axiological assumptions among our professionals. As a result, our professionals must develop strategies to navigate pluralism, which will be determined by their stance on at least two core issues: (1) Monism vs. Pluralism and (2) Commensurability vs. Incommensurability. We propose that our stances on these issues organize us into four navigation techniques: Specialists, Evangelists, Opportunists, and Multihyphenates. Each technique has benefits and limitations, but we argue that the Multihyphenate technique is the most valuable for the field insofar as it values pluralism, demands rigor, and embraces the contradicting realities that pluralism implies.

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Correspondence to Royce Kimmons.

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Kimmons, R., Johnstun, K. Navigating Paradigms in Educational Technology. TechTrends 63, 631–641 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-019-00407-0

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Keywords

  • Paradigms
  • Methodological pluralism
  • Incommensurability
  • Mixed methods