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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 0309-8249. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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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: The definitive version is available at
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Learning, Curriculum and Communication
IOE Departments > Departments > Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 15:12
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:25
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