Re-searching Methods in Educational Research: A Transdisciplinary Approach

  • M. Jayne Fleener


Educational research has arrived at a critical juncture in its ability to address the most intractable problems of public education. While critics point to the lack of impact educational research has had on policy and practice as evidence that the problem lies in a commitment of educational researchers to make a difference in the real context of schools, there is a more fundamental flaw with our ability to conduct meaningful educational research that requires a shift in our thinking about the goals of educational research. The flaw is in a logical system that attempts to reduce complexity, eliminates outliers, assumes that students fall along a normal curve, and infers causality as relationships unfold. To address the problems of education, our research needs to “step out” of our current consciousness and approach the challenges from a different kind of understanding.


Complexity Systems approach Research methods Purpose of education Transdisciplinary research Education innovation Scaling innovation Education policy Collaborative research Multidisciplinary Paradigms Research culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Friday Institute for Education Innovation, College of EducationNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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