Beyond Empiricism

On Criteria for Educational Research

Marc Depaepe (Author), Paul Smeyers (Author),

Series: Studia Paedagogica 34

Category: Education

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058673251

Publication date: November 6, 2003

€29.00 (including 6% VAT)

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Number of pages: 269

Size: 240 x 160 x mm

Stock item: 45615

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This book discusses educational research as a social discourse, as a discursive practice, in relation to epistemological issues, and in the light of questions of ethics. A number of historians and sociologists of educational sciences have demonstrated that the preference in the social and behavioral sciences for what was seen as a superior quantitative approach rested not just on developments within these disciplines but also and equally on external changes associated with the social context in general and with the dominance, in particular, of meritocratic values with the rise of the neo-liberal society. At the same time some of the work of certain philosophers of education over the last two decades has exposed the naivety of thinking dominated by the naive means-end schema. To a greater and greater extent, the idea of an applied science in which educational intervention is a simple consequence of understanding is being abandoned in favor of a theory of development that is realized in the intervention itself. In line with this, one sees an evolution in which the innovative role of pedagogical research can be emphasized again. Thus, “utopian” perspectives acquire a new legitimacy: the integration of empirical and philosophical research, of quantitative and quantitative methods forces itself anew upon us.


I. Educational Research as a Social Discourse (Section ed. N. Burbules)

  1. Six stories in search of a character? “The Philosopher” in an educational research group – David Bridges

  2. The importance of new technologies in promoting collaborative educational research – Nick Burbules
  3. Constructing the Eden of our earthly existence. Empiricism and the history of educational research in Belgium before the second World War – Marc Depaepe & Angelo Van Gorp
  4. From colonialism to globalisation: Performativity in New Zealand – Jim Marshall

II. Educational Research as a Discursive Practice (Section ed. T. Popkewitz)

  1. Journals and the making of experts and educational knowledge. exploring a Portuguese pedagogical journal (1921-1932) – Luís Miguel Carvalho

  2. From schools of thinking to genres of writing. New roles for philosophy of education – Bas Levering
  3. The disciplinary terrains of soul and self-government in the first map of the educational sciences (1879-1911) – Jorge Ramos de O
  4. Educational Research and constituting the Amercian School at the turn of the 20th century – Thomas S. Popkewitz
  5. Research and revelation: what really works? – Richard Smith
  6. Ideas in their historical context: the case of German “Geisteswissenschäftliche Pädagogik” as a national grammar – Daniel Throehler

III. Educational Research: Epistemological Issues (Section ed. A.W. van Haaften)

  1. Self-Understanding and Self-Determination: an Unfamiliar Look at the Philosophy of Education – Jan Bransen

  2. The concept of truth in educational theory – Stefaan Cuypers
  3. Experiencing Knowledge. Some philosophical insights for educational research – Kathleen Coessens
  4. Wittgenstein and Cavell: Reappraising scepticism in educational theory – Stefan Ramaekers
  5. Causality and (in-)determinism in educational research – Paul Smeyers

IV. Educational Research: Ethical Considerations (Section ed. L. Fendler)

  1. Theorising educational practices: the politico-ethical choices – Michael A. Peters

  2. Personal autonomu, authenticity and the intrinsic valuation of nature – Dirk Willem Postma
  3. Equal recognition: Identity politics and the idea of a social science – Paul Standish
  4. Ethical problems of community in educational research – Lynn Fendler

Marc Depaepe

Marc Depaepe is Professor of History of Education at KU Leuven.

Paul Smeyers

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