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.
Keywordsempirical research scepticism common sense protocols teaching learning
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Barrow, R. 1984Giving teaching back to teachersHarvesterBrightonGoogle Scholar
- Burt, C. 1949
The structure of the mindWiseman, S. eds. Intelligence and abilityPenguinLondonGoogle Scholar
- Carr, D. 1981Knowledge in PracticeAmerican Philosophical Quarterly185361Google Scholar
- Carr, D. 2003Making sense of educationRoutledgeLondonGoogle Scholar
- Galton, F. (1892). Hereditary genius extracts. In Stephen Wiseman (1973) (Ed), Intelligence and ability (pp. 25–36). London: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Gordon, J.C.B. 1981Verbal deficitCroom HelmLondonGoogle Scholar
- Herrnstein, R. 1996The bell curveFree PressLondon, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Newton-Smith, W.H. 1981The rationality of scienceRoutledgeLondonGoogle Scholar
- Tooley, J., Darby, D. 1998Educational research: A critiqueOfstedLondonGoogle Scholar
- Winch, C. 1990Language, ability and educational achievementRoutledgeNew YorkGoogle Scholar