New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Framing Educational Design Research: Abductive Reasoning and the Design of Theory

Tobias Schmohl, Hamburg Center for University Teaching & Learning (HUL) (Germany)

Abstract

In short, Educational Design Research (EDeR) can be defined as a rather pragmatist's approach with the intention to change an educational setting through an innovative intervention yet to be developed [1]. Researchers conducting this way of knowledge creation want to "change reality rather than just study it" [2]. They aim at contructing and refining specific "design principles and/or action heuristics for practical actions in a demarcated action field" [1]. EDeR researchers therefore pursue the goal to explore innovative solutions for problems in educational practice by an iterative design, while – at the same time – gaining new or at least refining scientific knowledge [1, 3–7].From an epistemological point of view, EDeR can be described as a scientific way of doing two things: (a) creating knowledge to solve specific problems of practical relevance in educational settings, and (b) drawing theoretical constructs (e.g.: generalized conclusions) from these particular design cases. It is not very clear, how to explain (b) methodologically – that is how to explain to build up new, innovative and practically useful theoretical constructs. In this paper, I would like to suggest that creation of theoretical constructs in EDeR could be methodologically considered as variations of abductive reasoning [8] – which might, compared to "conventional" approaches, even lead to more convincing ways of understanding EDeR.

References:

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