Title

The myth of 'scientific method' in contemporary educational research

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of Philosophy of Education

Publication Date

5-1-2006

Volume

40

Issue

2

First Page

137

Last Page

156

Abstract

Whether educational research should employ the ‘scientific method’ has been a recurring issue in its history. Hence, textbooks on research methods continue to perpetuate the idea that research students ought to choose between competing camps: ‘positivist’ or ‘interpretivist’. In reference to one of the most widely referred to educational research methods textbooks on the market—namely Research Methods in Education by Cohen, Manion, and Morrison—this paper demonstrates (1) the misconception of science in operation and (2) the perversely false dichotomy that has become enshrined in educational research. It then advocates a new approach, and suggests that the fixation with ‘science’ versus ‘non-science’ is counterproductive, when what is actually required for good inquiry is a critical approach to knowledge claims.

DOI

10.1111/j.1467-9752.2006.00508.x

Print ISSN

03098249

E-ISSN

14679752

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2006 Journal of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain

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Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Rowbottom, D. P., & Aiston, S. J. (2006). The myth of 'scientific method' in contemporary educational research. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 40(2), 137-156. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9752.2006.00508.x