Free Monday – Unpredictability and Indeterminism in Human Behavior

The full PDF can be found here. An extract:

This essay presents arguments for the view that complex human behavior of the type that interests educational researchers by its nature unpredictable if not indeterminate, a view that raises serious questions about the validity of a quantitative, experimental, positivist approach to educational research. The arguments are based on (a) individual differences, (b) chaos, (c) the evolutionary nature of learning and development, (d) the role of consciousness and free will in human behavior, and (e) the implications of quantum mechanics. Consequently it is argued that educational research that attempts to predict and control educational outcomes cannot be successful and that educational research should focus on providing descriptions and interpretations of educational phenomena to provide findings that can be used to improve our understanding of learning, development, and education and to facilitate their evolution.

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