Educational research is not what it was fifteen years ago. In this discipline the changes have been dramatic, far-reaching and rapid. Out of the criticisms of the 1990s and the calls for greater accountability of the early 2000s one idea has come to the fore-education science. There are two main components to education science. The first is the principle that research in education must model itself more closely on disciplines seen as highly credible and successful, mainly the natural sciences and medicine. The second part is that educators must build their practice upon the insights developed through this scientific research process. Overall, education science has the potential to change how we think about education, how we build knowledge about it, and how we know when it is successful.
This volume brings together some of the most active proponents of education science and some of the most committed critics. Within it the idea of education science is explored in depth, randomized controlled trials (considered the "gold standard" of education science) are discussed in detail, and the philosophical difficulties of knowledge in education are explored. Established thinkers are brought alongside newly emerging analysts, and detailed accounts of the institutions driving education science are included. Each contribution is thoughtful and balanced, engaging with the issues of the field and how they might be addressed. As a body of work, this collection of essays provides a well-rounded, critical discussion of the potential-and the problems-of the education science movement.