This papers considers concerptual and methodological issues that arise in large-scale survey research on teaching and uses data from Prospects to draw some substantive conclusions about the overall magnitude and sources of teachers' effects on student achievement in elementary schools.
The concepts of metaphor, model, and theory are defined and used to show how social science research in general, and education research in particular, has differed from Popper's description of natural science research.
The authors provide an overview of the political and scientific factors pertinent to the "rise and fall" of National Assessment.
Complementary in themselves, sociology and human ecology should be vital components of any teacher education program preparing prospective teachers to deal with problems posed by cultural "Disadvantage" and human variability in any form.
The survey movement has proved to be highly important,
not only because of the information that surveys have supplied
to communities and school officers, but also because of the opportunity
they have given to students of the science of education to develop techniques
In preparing the following paper, I have secured many suggestions
from the publications of the National Bureau of Education, from the many excellent annual school reports and school surveys that have been published during the past three or four years, and from several individuals who were kind enough to share a part of their time with me in personal interviews on the subject under discussion. Of the school reports, I wish to mention especially the recent ones from the following cities: Cleveland, Ohio; Elmira, New York; Louisville, Kentucky; Newton, Massachusetts; New York, New York.
The summary of school surveys now presented is not complete, but it includes all of the major surveys and gives a view of the different types of such inquiries. The chronology of reports is respected in a general way and the reader will certainly not fail to see that there has been a steady evolution in the methods of inquiry and in the form of presenting results.