The Role of Values in Educational Research; the case for Reflexivity

P. Greenbank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


This article utilises Rokeach's categorisation of values (i.e. moral, competency, personal and social) to analyse how values influence the choice of research method. It discusses how the ontological and epistemological position adopted by the researcher is influenced by their competency and personal values. The next section is concerned with the social values (or politics) of educational research, where the debate has polarised between those advocating a value-neutral approach and those who argue that researchers should instead accept the partisan nature of research. Finally, the issue of research ethics is considered. Moral values are found to play an important role, but other values also influence the ethical decisions that are taken. The article concludes by highlighting how the complex interaction of the researcher's moral, competency, personal and social values has an important influence on the research process. The article contends that research methods cannot be value-free in their application, but researchers should adopt a reflexive approach and attempt to be honest and open about how values influence their research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-780
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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