Now you can take an extreme view “Educational 'research' is a soft science at best, and at worst utter mumbo-jumbo. Like most soft sciences, it's a massive exercise in stating the obvious when right, and utter claptrap when wrong.”
I know a lot of teachers hold that view and so did I. (In a convivial bar, we make statements like “I mean let’s face it, like all consultants, these researchers just want to get out of teaching kids!” - err trouble is I became a consultant on chemical safety.) It can be useful to clear ones thoughts in that chemistry seems obvious to me so why cannot the class understand it at the fist time of asking. David’s clear interpretations are a great help. Sometimes the obvious needs to be said and proved by research.
The language that many educational psychologists use is impenetrable. I mean I have a problem with "meta-analysis" because my first acquaintance with the word “meta” was as the third position in electrophilic substitution reactions. But no doubt the educational psychologist has a problem with the word “precipitate” expecting lead iodide to drop from the skies when a chemist says “lead iodide precipitates out”.
Another problem is that it is taught to post graduates as they start teaching. All you need when you start is a “Brian Blessed’s book on voice projection” “a manual of crowd control techniques”, “101 verbal put-downs to the idiot in the back of the class”, a “book of really good practical procedures that work”, “1001 unusual chemical facts and stories”, “how to act in control as a chemistry graduate when teaching biology or physics” and most important “The Observers book of chemical knowledge”. Readers not from the UK might need to go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Blessed and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer's_Books (I still have a collection from 1957! It made British men of a certain age, compulsive collectors and shed owners.)
After teaching for a few years you might ask the question “I do all the right things in all the right order and but that idiot at the back really thinks he/she made yellow custard when he/she added lead nitrate solution to potassium iodide. (Or in “no lead” countries, use silver nitrate!).
So in Uncle Bob’s perfect world, not only does every child leave school at 14 to live on a remote island only to return at 18 for 4 more years of school, but new teachers leave teaching after 4 years, go back to University for a year for psychology and further subject development.
It is only when I saw the Johnstone’s triangle that the issues of teaching somehow slotted together. In order to include the relevance of teaching, the human elements has to be included but I cannot draw tetrahedrons so it is a rectangle! Include the word “nano” and it looks modern. Here is my interpretation of the ******** obvious and see http://microchemuk.weebly.com/2-blog/august-19th-2015.
Another issue is that often the research involves a one-to one questioning of the “patient” by the researcher. That is all when and good but then how does that relate to dealing with thirty 15-years olds with raging hormones of whom 3 do not want to be there, the projector bulb breaks, the smoke alarm goes off in the next room and school inspector walks in.
And of course you can go to meeting of chemical education researchers and never see a chemical.