Toward a Science of Education: The Battle Between Rogue and Real Science by James M. Kauffman was named the winner in the Education/Academics section of 2011 International Book Awards (IBA). JPX Media Group announced the winners and finalists of the IBA on 11 May 2011 in Los Angeles (CA, US).
In his summary of his book, Professor Kauffman wrote
I summarize how science works, why it offers hope to educators, how science has been neglected and abused in education, and what I think science now tells us — and doesn’t tell us—about several issues in education. In describing science, I necessarily describe pseudoscience or rogue science as well. Education and disciplines related to it, especially psychology, have too often, and for far too long, been characterized by rogue science rather than the real thing. It’s disheartening to face up to the fact that education and psychology haven’t usually been scientific. As educational researcher David Berliner says, a science of education, although possible, may well be the hardest science of all. Those of us who believe that science is the best hope for education mustn’t be discouraged or intimidated by the naysayers and the difficulty of the task. We know that the insistence and persistence of many will be required. Consequently, I haven’t written a book for educators only, but for a more general audience as well — those who care about education and its improvement, which is a lot of us, if not most. Neither have I written a book for educational researchers, reviewing all relevant details of scientific (or nonscientific) studies and their conclusions on particular topics. My intention was to write a book about the general principles of a scientific approach to educational issues and provide readable summaries of what I think research and rational analysis, tell us about a few particular problems. Critiques of particular studies and the details of research design and statistical analysis are better left to purely academic publications.
This award comes on the heels of recognition of Professor Kauffman’s earlier book, The Tragicomedy of Public Education: Laughing and Crying, Thinking and Fixing, which I noted over on Teach Effectively.