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Model Fidelity

Model fidelity is not a watchdog. It’s not the kennel club looking to maintain pure breeds for showing. It is simply an acknowledgement that there isn’t one version of any model.

In my research over the last few years I’ve advocated strongly for Model Fidelity. At the heart of this advocacy is the belief that we shouldn’t make false or spurious claims about the model or models we research; especially if this advocacy encourages practitioners to adopt a models-based approach.

This belief in model fidelity stemmed/stems from my reading of large swathes of models-based practice research. I would see titles like “Sport Education as a vehicle for whole school development” (a made-up title) and then see statements like “we used Sport Education” in the methods section and I’d set to wondering what had happened in the real-life lessons to prompt these conclusions. Unfortunately, the paper would provide no more information outside of that ‘catch-all’ statement. It seemed as if it was sufficient to say something had been done and, hey presto, it was. Journals and reviewers were content with this state of affairs and so it went unnoticed or unchallenged.

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