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Running the rule over the experts

Knowing if a pedagogical study is reliable enough to be used in the classroom can be problematic, finds Chris Parr, although there are some tell-tale signs

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Not all research is created equal. Academia is littered with examples of previously respected theories being disproven and even ridiculed by subsequent scholars.

Perhaps the most high-profile example is the disgraced former doctor Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent 1998 research paper that falsely claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. It was published in The Lancet, a long-established and prestigious, peer-reviewed medical journal. The journal’s editor, Richard Horton, subsequently admitted that the findings in the paper were simply “false”.

In the field of education, cases of poor ...

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