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Title: Science and educational research
Author: Sweet, Christopher Pennington
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1990
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At present the most powerful and influential groups in education see the solution to matters of educational concern as mainly falling within the province of an educational research which is fundamentally scientific. This thesis sets out to examine whether this assumption can be substantiated and, in the possible scenario that it cannot, to look at an alternative form of educational research. It begins with the philosophical arguments which support the view that educational research, where it is empirical, should be mainly scientific and continues by looking at what contemporary educational researchers have said about the nature of educational research. The role philosophy of education might take in this context is also examined. The thesis continues by looking at the prescribed methodology of educational research and examines the philosophical assumptions of such a methodology. It continues by looking at the major assumption of scientific endeavour which is that it is nomological. The conclusions drawn from the aforegoing are that, for various philosophical reasons, the notion that educational research can be founded on scientific method and applied through a process parallel to engineering is fallacious and needs to be reviewed. A review of the philosophical situation with regard to understanding human beings as would be necessary to understanding them in an educational context is undertaken in the fourth chapter. This marks the beginnings of an alternative, non-scientific, framework for educational research. A case is made for the thesis that individual actions are understood properly against a background of information which includes beliefs, intentions and historical circumstances. Consideration is then given as to how this might be put in such a way as to be of practical use in the deliberation of how to tackle educational issues. The final chapter outlines how a possible substantive piece of educational research might look.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Humanities and Social Sciences