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An Elusive Science - The Troubling History of Education Research


reviewed by Les McLean 2002

coverTitle: An Elusive Science - The Troubling History of Education Research
Author(s): Ellen Condliffe Lagemann
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, Chicago
ISBN: 0226467724, Pages: 264, Year: 2000
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History is important; reading this book is a vivid reminder that "those who would ignore history are doomed to repeat it." There is also at least some truth in Paul Valéry’s statement, "History is the most dangerous product that the chemistry of the intellect ever evolved. Its properties are well known. It makes us dream, it intoxicates people, creates false memories for them, exaggerates their reactions, keeps their old wounds open, torments their rest, leads them to delusions of grandeur or of persecution, and makes nations bitter, arrogant, insufferable and vain." If history in general does this, what are we to expect from a "troubling history"? With trepidation, we press on. Alas, the author scooped my intended opening sentence with, "… relatively early in the nineteenth century, the very term education research seemed to be an oxymoron to many notable university leaders" (p. 232). There is much support in this book for such a view—a troubling history indeed. Before describing the book’s many strengths, however, I... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 1, 2002, p. 99-108
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10742, Date Accessed: 4/29/2017 7:22:50 AM

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