Truth claims for nobestwayoverall

As a Teacher of IB (Y12 and 13) Biology and Theory of Knowledge in Switzerland I have no dog in any Trad versus Prog fight. Is this just a media invention? I teach about the ideas that science tries to make sense of the Universal and Diverse.

I thought about writing a calm considered blog post about this but reading the #nobestwayoverall discussion made me impatient.

I am not accusing anyone of affiliation. But this propostiion reminded me of a logical equivalence to the Irreducable Complexity argument of the Intelligent Design criticism against Evolutionary Biology.

The claim that teaching and its efficacy is so unknowable because every learner is different and has a different genetic, social history and because every context is different etc would render our profession to be so obviously inferior to say Medicine which has similar individual and contextual historical problems.

They are steadily working on the concept of personalised medicine. This concept has many ethical and socio-political problems but not so few knowledge problems.

To claim that #nobestwayoverall is true because there is no evidence that says it is not true is no good argument.

Where things get difficult is where the human pursuit for understanding expresses itself though for instance philosophy, science, artistic expression, political debate and other forms of persuasion.

When it gets difficult we should think harder as Robert Coe asserts.

There are good arguments, evidence (from neuroscience, cognitive science and educational psychology). Many of these make coherent, pragmatic and consensus truth forming propositions that support claims that some teaching methods are better than others regardless of contextual variables.

Many philosophers of science have agreed on the idea that truth is best understood as the best explanation we have that is consistent with all of the available data we presently have.

The concept of nobestwayoverall I think was intended as very laudible alternative and antidote against any dogmatic claim but I reject it as unfalsifiable at worst and at best a barrier to debate.

I hope that if Educational knowledge can improve as many of our ways of knowing in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities have done so that the potentially pessimistic and relativistic conclusions that could be drawn from #nobestwayoverall could be replaced with

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *