Margins, Methodology, Madness: Philosophy As Research In Higher Education

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    This research project is rooted in my academic background as a philosopher of education, and in the practices of teaching research methods modules to postgraduate students in education and the social sciences. This experience strongly suggests that research methods training for postgraduate students tends to be concerned almost exclusively with empirical approaches. My experience is that students express surprise that non-empirical work constitutes ‘research’ as such; they ask if philosophy of education can inform their everyday work, or are concerned whether such approaches are acceptable in their academic work. This research adopts just such a non-empirical, philosophical approach; that is, its ‘method’ is through the force of its argument and its examples. In trying to understand the value of philosophy of education to researching practical concerns, it will consider two key questions: first, what might be the issues with teaching predominantly empirical approaches in the university?; second, what are the possibilities that philosophy of education can offer to postgraduate research students in this discipline, and why should students pursue them? The research will outline how the framework for discussion of these issues comes from the way that empirical research has been theorised within the philosophical literature, and how philosophers of education understand their (distinctive) contribution to the field. It will show how this is not just a debate confined to a particular geographical location, but how issues of method and methodology in research in higher education is increasingly a European discourse.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2014
    EventEuropean Educational Research Association (EERA) European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) - University of Porto, Portugal
    Duration: 5 Sept 2014 → …


    ConferenceEuropean Educational Research Association (EERA) European Conference on Educational Research (ECER)
    Period5/09/14 → …


    • research
    • empirical
    • philosophy
    • non-empirical
    • methodology
    • madness


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