The commentary considers when it is acceptable to make prescriptive statements in educational research articles. It begins with a consensus view, agreeing with the analysis offered by Marley and Levin (Educational Psychology Review, 2011), that experimental evidence is necessary. Other forms of evidence are considered (e.g., observational, case-based, qualitative); these are described as correlational in nature and considered to be of uncertain value for making causal, prescriptive statements. The essay further considers whether theory is necessary for prescriptive statements, notes the philosophical divide between those who embrace experimental methods and those who do not, and considers both contemporary policies and specific publication strategies that can create a priority for the use of experimental evidence in support of prescriptive statements.
- Educational Research
- Precriptive Statement