Thursday, October 24, 2013

Values in Theory Construction

Reigeluth and Carr-Chellman (2010, p. 22) explore value-based theory construction and posit four functions of values that relate to theory construction and that can be identified as a philosophy of instruction (p. 22).  They are values about learning goals, priorities, methods, and power.  They are important in design theories and important to theory development.  These values are philosophical that is, based on opinion rather than empirical research.  Values underpinning theory should be clear so that practitioners and other stakeholders are informed and guided when selecting appropriate theories.
  • Values about learning goals are opinions about learning outcomes.  Note these values are not empirically derived through a needs analysis.  For instance, a school might have the core values of instilling integrity and professionalism through instruction.
  • Values about priorities judge the success of instruction and guidelines using such criteria as “effectiveness, efficiency, and appeal”.
  • Values about methods:  All stakeholders hold philosophical opinions about methods of instructions.
  • Values about power respond to questions such as, “who has the power to decide goals, priorities, and methods?” (Reigeluth and Carr-Chellman, 2010, p. 23)
When constructing theory researchers must be conscious not only of empirically derived data but also of these values.
Reigeluth, Charles. M. and Carr-Chellman, A. A.  (2010).  Understanding instructional theory.  In Instructional-Design Theories and Models: Building a Common Knowledge Base 3.  Reigeluth, Charles. M. and Carr-Chellman, A. A (Eds.).  Taylor and Francis Kindle Edition.

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