afternoon Brian -
already added pertinent questions and comments at several points within your draft
paper. I do not wish to repeat in different ways what has already been
eloquently said. The following is offered as my personal experience as I set
out to read and review your draft, holding in mind, as I usually do, the four
review criteria that are central to this exercise i.e.
4. Is there sufficient evidence to support all the claims that are
5. Are there sufficient details of how the author has validated
6. Is the normative background of the author and their work clear?
8. Are the author's' explanatory principles and living standards
of judgment clear in this paper?
However, before I started reading the body of
your paper, the title itself gave me cause to stop in my tracks. With the
banner of the Educational Journal of
Living Theories at the head of the page, I immediately read the first word
of your title – Living – as a matter
concerned with value; and the second word – Statistics
– as a matter concerned with facts.
Now thinking of David Hume and his A Treatise of Human Nature, the phrase
came to my mind – whether written by Hume himself or a subsequent commentator I
know not – that matters of fact and
matters of value constitute separate realms of logical discourse. From the
very outset, therefore, it appeared to me that your paper intends to
demonstrate the merging of incommensurable paradigms – which, implicit in the
definition of incommensurable paradigms,
is not possible.
Reading on: in the abstract you state your
intention to ...
"... explore the relationship between my lived experience and my
understanding, communication and application of statistical ideas".
You speak here of the
application of statistical ideas and
not just the application of statistics. For me, there is a distinction. As
a parallel example, I would be comfortable with a values-based living-theory
account of an inquiry into the structural design of a housing estate in a rural
area; I would not be comfortable if that account centred on a stress analysis
of roof trusses.
In the abstract you go
on to claim that you ...
"... can build my living educational
theory based on my lived experience of a statistical model; enabling
me to present statistical ideas to undergraduate mathematicians and colleagues
using a value-based approach ...".
This process is then reversed, where you say
that you will show ...
"... how I, as an applied science researcher who uses statistics, can build a statistical model based on my
living educational theory; calling up my lived experiences and capturing
and representing them in a mathematical form".
In these two
latter extracts you speak of a statistical
model, which now joins statistical
ideas and statistics from earlier
text. What is the relationship between the three – or are they one entity /
concept? (I ask this question as one who has zero knowledge of the subject).
distinctions between these three terms may or may not be, I understand you to
be claiming that 'Statistics' and 'Living Theory' share a common "... set
of concepts or thought patterns, including theories, research methods,
postulates, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions to a
field" (stolen from the Wikipedia definition of 'Paradigm'). Can statistics itself – rather than the process of using it in a context – be shown to
have a quality of value?
the initial thoughts that I held as a 'knee jerk' response to the first page of
your paper. I am stuck with this 'horizon of expectation' that emerged from a
close look at your title and abstract. I am hoping that, in the course of
reading the main text, the concerns I have raised will be addressed (or
dismissed) and that we shall achieve a 'fusion of horizons'. (I'm a non-academic
amateur in all this and so may have completely mis-represented Hume, Kuhn and Gadamer.)