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Critical Realism and Empirical Research Methods in Education

Scott, D; (2005) Critical Realism and Empirical Research Methods in Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education , 39 (4) pp. 633-646. Green open access

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Critical Realism and Empirical Research Methods in Education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Additional information: The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1533488
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