Okay, how am I going to link the recent presidential election in the USA to educational research? Follow along…

  1. The polls were wrong.
  2. Polls are based on demographics.
  3. Statistics based on demographics are inherently wrong (as well as evil).
  4. Much of educational research is based on demographics.
  5. Therefore, much of educational research is wrong (and inherently evil).

Okay, now the details…

The polls were wrong

This one is pretty obvious. Virtually everyone was predicting a landslide for Clinton, and a possible take-over of the Senate. Oops.

Polls are based on demographics

The main assumption in polling is that everyone from a certain demographic group will vote the same way. The differences between the polls essentially amount to how people are sliced and diced into groups: race, gender, sexual orientation, “class” (I particularly hate that one), education, etc. We’re bombarded with statistics like “the candidate is losing white suburban gay men with associates degrees who drive minivans and make between $48,000 and $48,100 per year.”

Aren’t we past the notion that every person in category x is the same? Isn’t this the very soul of bias? Chunking everyone into a group is, by definition, the reason why the nation is “divided.”

Statistics based on demographics are inherently wrong (as well as evil)

The very concept of demographics is insulting and debasing — why would anyone assume that an individual is going to have the same thoughts as some group? Aren’t we past the notion that every person in category x is the same? Isn’t this the very soul of bias?

Chunking everyone into a group is, by definition, the reason why the nation is “divided.” Often these groupings are imaginary, and only based on the “everyone knows” principle of bad logic. For example, what demographic does hip-hop artist Sean Paul fall into? (Read up on his background to see what I mean…)

404px-seanpaul01

By Mozart Diensthuber – GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4542869

Much of educational research is based on demographics

Just look at educational research journals — they’re filled with research into what “group x” does versus “group y” — there is no place for individuals in it. As I’ve reported previously, I’ve even seen papers rejected because the researchers refused to report on people in arbitrary (but “standard”) demographics chunks.

Therefore, much of educational research is wrong (and inherently evil)

So, if you have an entire field dedicated to arbitrarily and incorrectly force-fitting people into groups, you have the very result that we have in the state of educational research today — no progress, and everyone suffers.

The solution to this downward spiral in education is to begin to focus on individual learners — what does each learner know? What does each learner need?

The solution to this downward spiral in education is to begin to focus on individual learners — what does each learner know? What does each learner need? With the state of technology as it is today, we are able to do this; the only thing standing in our way is changing the “everybody knows” mentality of the educational establishment.

 

 

 

 

 

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