It's theories all the way down: A response to scientific research in education

James Gee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


This article considers the six principles that the National Research Council's report Scientific Research in Education claims define an enterprise as scientific. I argue that these principles are relatively vacuous generalities because one cannot determine anything about any of them from outside specific theories of specific domains (and domains are smaller, usually considerably smaller, than disciplines). Such theories can differ greatly on how they would define the meanings of the words in the six principles. In the end, I argue that we ought to compare specific theories and their track records, caring less about what "science" is and more about using theories with good track records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalTeachers College Record
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this