Critical realism and empirical research methods in education

Scott, David (2005) Critical realism and empirical research methods in education. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 39 (4). pp. 633-646. ISSN 1467-9752

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9752.2005.00460.x

Abstract

In the light of recent writings of Richard Pring, and in relation to the application of empirical research methods in education, this paper offers a corrective to a neo-realist viewpoint and develops a critical realist perspective. The argument is made that the deployment of empirical research methods needs to be underpinned by a meta-theory embracing epistemological and ontological elements; that this meta-theory does not commit one to the view that absolute knowledge of the social world is possible; and that critical realism is the most appropriate meta-theory to underpin the use of empirical research methods. Further to this, unhelpful dualisms between quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and between structure and agency, are discussed in relation to neo-realist and critical realist perspectives

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:In the light of recent writings of Richard Pring, and in relation to the application of empirical research methods in education, this paper offers a corrective to a neo-realist viewpoint and develops a critical realist perspective. The argument is made that the deployment of empirical research methods needs to be underpinned by a meta-theory embracing epistemological and ontological elements; that this meta-theory does not commit one to the view that absolute knowledge of the social world is possible; and that critical realism is the most appropriate meta-theory to underpin the use of empirical research methods. Further to this, unhelpful dualisms between quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and between structure and agency, are discussed in relation to neo-realist and critical realist perspectives
Keywords:Education research
Subjects:X Education > X300 Academic studies in Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:670
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:22 Jun 2007
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:12

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