John Wiley & Sons Educational Explanations Cover This distinctive book surveys empirical educational research from the point of view of a philosopher.. Product #: 978-1-119-81645-4 Regular price: $23.27 $23.27 Auf Lager

Educational Explanations

Philosophy in Empirical Educational Research

Winch, Christopher

Journal of Philosophy of Education


1. Auflage März 2022
336 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-81645-4
John Wiley & Sons


This distinctive book surveys empirical educational research from the point of view of a philosopher who is also deeply engaged in empirical educational research. Combining insights from debates in the philosophy of the social sciences, a discussion of the nature of truth and explanation in educational research and a detailed examination of actual research projects, the book offers a defence of the practice of empirical educational research that at the same time acknowledges the importance of philosophical reflection in the design and carrying out of high quality empirical educational research projects.

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Educational Explanations is a comprehensive study of the main philosophical questions that confront empirical educational researchers. The book outlines the sense in which empirical educational research pursues truth and sets out and defends an account of its task as the offering of explanations for the many educational problems that claim our attention. The book goes on to look at the criteria for high quality research, the relationship between different methodological approaches and the scope and limits of intervention studies. At all stages detailed examples are presented to make the argument clearer. A distinctive feature of the book is the presentation of four detailed case studies, over four chapters, of influential educational research programmes that not only examine what they have achieved, but emphasise the conceptual issues that researchers are confronted with as they seek to provide explanations. The book goes on to examine the impact of empirical educational research on educational practice and on the practice of teachers in particular.

Foreword vii

Preface xi

1 Introduction: What Is the Question? 1

2 A Criterial Conception of Truth and Objectivity: Its Relevance to Educational Research 21

3 Why Empirical Educational Research Needs to Be Taken Seriously 41

4 The Concept of an Educational Explanation and an Account of What Explanatory Adequacy Should Look Like 61

5 How Good Is Empirical Research - Disaster or Success? 81

6 Could Empirical Research-Based Knowledge Be Cumulative? 103

7 Converging Explanations: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods and How They Are Related 123

8 Intervention Studies, Experimental Methods and Evidence-Based Policy 141

9 Case Study 1: Bernsteinian Sociolinguistics 161

10 Case Study 2: The Comparative Study of Vocational Education 181

11 Case Study 3: School Effectiveness and Improvement Research 201

12 Case Study 4: Research on the Teaching of Reading Debate and on Dyslexia 219

13 Educational Faddism and How to (Possibly) Avoid It 239

14 How Philosophical and Empirical Research Can Work Together 259

15 Prospects for Empirical Educational Research and Its Future Relevance to Policy and Practice 275

References 293

Index 307
CHRISTOPHER WINCH has taught in the primary, further and higher education sectors. Trained in Philosophy, he is also a qualified and experienced empirical researcher in Education. As well as writing on numerous topics in the Philosophy of Education, he has taken part in many research projects in Britain and Europe including the ongoing ESRC project "Opportunity, Equality and Agency in England's new VET Landscape: a Longitudinal Study of Post-16 Transitions".

C. Winch, Kings College, London