Improving Inquiry in Social Science: A Volume in Honor of Lee J. Cronbach

Improving Inquiry in Social Science: A Volume in Honor of Lee J. Cronbach

Improving Inquiry in Social Science: A Volume in Honor of Lee J. Cronbach

Improving Inquiry in Social Science: A Volume in Honor of Lee J. Cronbach

Synopsis

This volume celebrates Lee J. Cronbach's considerable contributions to the methodology of social and behavioral science. Comprised of chapters written by colleagues and contemporaries of the highly influential scholar, it offers a range of ideas, perspectives, and new approaches to improving social science inquiry.

Excerpt

This volume celebrates Lee J. Cronbach's career as a scholar, as a teacher, and as a scientific and professional leader. It cannot fully recount that career. Rather, it seeks to advance thinking and research in some of the central fields of inquiry that Cronbach's work has helped establish, shape, develop, and revise.

The chapter authors are collaborators and contemporaries of Cronbach's. Some have been coauthors. Some have debated competing views with him. Some are former students. in the generic sense, however, all of us have been his students. All of us have benefitted immeasurably from his public contributions, but also from his personal friendship and his informal professional interactions and communications over the years. All of us have learned and continue to learn much from him. But he has not only taught us when we did not know; he has caused us to unlearn and relearn many things we thought we knew. Therein is a lesson all social science needs to incorporate. Improving inquiry in social science means questioning conventional wisdom, criticizing conventional method, unlearning these conventions, and learning radically new ones. Cronbach is the acknowledged master of this process. We think all social science today badly needs to follow his example.

Chapter 1, our introduction, picks up this theme and provides a framework for the chapters to follow.

Each chapter is written expressly for this book. Each picks up on an aspect of Cronbach's work and makes a further contribution to it. the book thus provides a range of ideas, perspectives, and new approaches to improving inquiry in social science that should be useful to students and young researchers, as well as to mature investigators concerned with the present state and future of social science research.

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