Statistical data and the Education Debate Part 3: Errors and Gold Standards

Scenes From The Battleground

I talked last time about how personal experience, or anecdote, cannot simply be dismissed as unreliable. Of course, there are exceptions. There are things where lay observation is very unreliable, for instance the effectiveness of a particular medicine, or assessment of the intelligence of one’s own children. But if something is easy to see, and you see it a lot, then it is not somehow unscientific to think it happens or even that it is common.

The misconception that we should dismiss people’s personal experiences is a common one. I have frequently heard politicians who listen to voters condemned for peddling “anecdotes” rather than listening to “evidence”. Sometimes it seems like the opinion of one academic about what people should have experienced, would be worth the unanimous testimony of 100 randomly selected members of the public about what they have experienced. If a politician is criticised for “ignoring the evidence”…

View original post 619 more words

Advertisements

About teachingbattleground

I teach
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s