Marc BienefeldOliver Böhm-KasperChristine Demmer

Highly recommended and yet neglected: The rarity of replication studies in educational science


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Within the quantitative paradigm of social sciences, replication studies are considered of high scientific value but at the same time only a small number of actual replication studies are carried out and published. This disproportion has repeatedly been pointed out in the methodological discourse. However, while in some disciplines, e.g. psychology, there is now a growing interest in the topic, there has been no comparable development in educational science. Hence, three questions are worth considering: Can the relevance that methodology assigns to replication studies also be applied to educational science? What role do replication studies play for the current work of educational researchers? And what explanations can be explored for possible discrepancies between the designated relevance and the occurrence of replication studies? These questions determine the structure of this article: We will first discuss the methodological concept of replication studies and its relevance for educational research. In the second part of the article, the results of a qualitative explorative study will be presented. We carried out a total of 13 interviews with experts from various backgrounds in educational research, focusing on the above-mentioned questions. Beside some noteworthy similarities, the results show one main dividing line with regard to argumentation, which is the experts’ personal affiliation with the quantitative or qualitative research paradigm respectively.

Replication; Qualitative research methods; Quantitative research methods; Expert interviews; Evidence based research; Repetition