There is a paucity of adequately powered studies; experimental research; independent replications; and studies with diverse and representative samples, settings, and contexts in the teacher-preparation research base. As such, it is difficult to identify generalizable, evidence-based practices for teacher preparation. One potential way to address these challenges is through crowdsourcing.
In contrast to the traditional research paradigm, in which individuals or small teams conduct many small studies, crowdsourcing leverages the broad scientific community to conduct studies on a scale not otherwise possible (Makel et al., 2019). “Crowdsourcing flips research planning from ‘what is the best we can do with the resources we have to investigate our question,’ to ‘what is the best way to investigate our question, so that we can decide what resources to recruit’” (Uhlmann et al., 2019, p. 713).
The motto of the Royal Society, “Nullius in verba” translates as “Take nobody’s word for it.” However, when educators read journal articles reporting research findings, transparency is limited. For example, educators only see authors’ reports of findings, and do not have access to data (to verify reported findings) or to the details of the research procedures (to examine, for example, whether researchers developed their hypotheses after knowing the results). This lack of transparency is potentially problematic, because researchers may be driven to find and report positive and significant findings to enhance the odds of publication. Indeed, many educational researchers report engaging in questionable research practices that might help generate positive, but potentially biased, research findings (Makel, Hodges, Cook, & Plucker, 2019). Open science is an umbrella term, encompassing diverse initiatives that aim to increase transparency in research. We briefly describe three open-science practices here: pre-registration, Registered Reports, and open data.