Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 25, Issue 1–2, pp 77–91 | Cite as

Is Educational Research Any Use?



We begin by examining the widespread scepticism about the value of empirical educational research that is found within sections of the philosophy of education community. We argue that this scepticism, in its strongest form, is incoherent as it suggests that there are no educational facts susceptible of discovery. On the other hand, if there are such facts, then commonsense is not an adequate way of accessing them, due to its own contested and variable nature. We go on to examine the claim that teaching is a moral enterprise whose successful pursuit demands the grasp of moral concepts and their implications. We show that while this is the case, it is a necessary, not a sufficient condition for successful teaching, which also requires a grasp of facts that are relevant to effective teaching and learning. Finally we examine some protocols for educational research.


empirical research scepticism common sense protocols teaching learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NorthamptonNorthamptonUK
  2. 2.King’s CollegeLondonUK

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