Positivism denotes a vague picture rather than precise thesis. In this picture, scientists accept the content of observable phenomena as posits in need of no further explication. Religion (i.e., theology) and metaphysics (i.e., traditional philosophy) try to describe the world “as it really is” rather than “as it appears to be,” with contested success. Yet, science yields agreed-upon knowledge, because it abandoned the quest to peek behind the veil of phenomena. In the early 20th century, educational researchers were trained to think about research like a positivist. They valued research that did not infer beyond observable phenomena. Since the 1960s, however, positivism has largely fallen out of favor among researchers (except among radical behaviorists) after a paradigm shift toward constructivist approaches occurred in education research. ...
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