A view from somewhere: Explaining the paradigms of educational research

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In this paper I ask how educational researchers can believe the subjective perceptions of qualitative participant-observers given the concern for objectivity and generalisability of experimental research in the behavioural and social sciences. I critique the most common answer to this question within the educational research community, which posits the existence of two (or more) equally legitimate epistemological paradigms-positivism and constructivism-and offer an alternative that places a priority in educational research on understanding the purposes and meanings humans attribute to educational practices. Only within the context of what I call a transcendent view from somewhere-higher ideals that govern human activities-can we make sense of quantitative as well as qualitative research findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-221
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Philosophy of Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
*Research supported by CNPq, FAPESP and PRONEX. ‘Research supported by FAPESP. TResearch supported by Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and DOE grant DE-FG02-95ER40896.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History
  • Philosophy


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