Context Matters and Where's the Paradigm
Last nights fruitful discussions brought up two key issues for me that are sticking points for this thing we call educational research.
1. Knowledge of the Context Matters
During the Autism debate we all struggled (to varying degrees) to apply our limited knowledge of the disability to learning technologies. The LT folk seem to be in a very unique position that could place them as Jack's of all trades as they are called upon to design and implement innovations to help with learning. However, only those with specialized and detailed knowledge are really in the best place to evaluate these innovations and hopefully create new ones. Perhaps this idea of innovation without understanding context is why I really haven't been floored by many educational technologies.
2. Do we have a Paradigm or Codified Knowledge Base in Education?
No. One could claim Journals as the base of knowledge but unlike Law, Medicine, Science, Automotive repair, etc practitioners, policy makers, and researchers really have no where to go. True - there are tons of grey areas in the aforementioned fields but they can answer the most important of questions "How do we know what we know?" whereas I do not believe we can. This hurts our cause and chances of practicality badly. This could help explain why we are seen as a wafflely bunch.