Researcher Warns of Education Blunder

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Education researcher Norman W. Edmund urges the National Board for Education Sciences to define “scientifically valid research” at their January 26, 2006 meeting.

In his second career as an education researcher, Norman W. Edmund, founder (retired) of Edmund Scientific Co., has invested 16 years in full-time research on the scientific method. He now warns that the clock is ticking on valid education research.

The National Board for Education Sciences, which advises Grover Whitehurst, Director of the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, will meet January 26, 2006. According to Edmund, it is critical that the board define “scientifically valid research” to include the scientific method to ensure that students are given reliable data to work with and to prepare them for the competitive global workplace.

Although America spends about $1 trillion annually on education and training, education research has proved so unreliable that in January 2002 Congress took action. They enacted the Education Sciences Reform Act, which requires that education research be “scientifically valid research.” Unfortunately, they failed to assign a definition to “scientifically valid research” and excluded the scientific method as part of the research process.

In his book, End the Biggest Educational and Intellectual Blunder in History; published by Scientific Method Publishing, Edmund demonstrates that researchers and top education leaders have perpetuated the misunderstanding that the scientific method does not exist. Because of this error, erroneous and unreliable data has infiltrated curriculum in schools and universities. Taxpayer dollars have also funded “science programs” that would not have otherwise qualified as scientific.

At a time when there is much controversy over what should be taught as science in our school curriculum

(i.e. Intelligent Design), Edmund hopes that the board members will step up to the plate and set reliable scientifically valid research guidelines. Edmund has published a 16-page report showing that scientifically valid research can only be obtained by following the scientific method. The report is available online at http://www.scientificmethod.com.

In his book, Edmund sites Vannevar Bush, Dean of the MIT School of Engineering from 1932 to 1938 and Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development in 1941. Bush stated, “Advances in science when put to practical use mean more jobs, higher wages, shorter hours, more abundant crops, more leisure for recreation, for study, for learning how to live without the deadening drudgery which has been the burden of the common man for ages past. Advances in science will also bring higher standards of living, will lead to the prevention or cure of diseases, will promote conservation of our limited national resources, and will assure means of defense against aggression. But to achieve these objectives — to secure a high level of employment, to maintain a position of world leadership — the flow of new scientific knowledge must be both continuous and substantial.”

As the January 26 deadline approaches, Edmund hopes that Bush’s words will have the same impact they had over six decades ago.

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Chris Andreasen
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