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Closing Methodological Divides

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The interpretivist methodological framework made its appearance in educational research in the late 1970s, posing a fundamental and far-reaching challenge to the hitherto dominant positivist framework and opening up a number of divides that many have perceived as fundamental and unbridgeable. In the first part of Closing Methodological Divides, Howe examines the issues involved and demonstrates that the divides can in fact be closed. The subsequent chapters set out the compatibilist perspective within which Howe analyzes the interpretive turn, constructivist epistemology, research bias and ethics. The concluding chapter sets out a conception of democratic education research that shapes research methodology to meet the requirements of democratic politics.
Closing Methodological Divides: Toward Democratic Educational Research is unique in the sweep of issues it considers and the way it integrates them under one general philosophical perspective. Vital reading for philosophers of education, educational researchers and social science methodologists.

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Contents
Preface Acknowledgments
1.INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW Part I: Positivism and the Old Divides Part II: Interpretivism and the New Divides Part III: Ethical and Political Frameworks
Part I Positivism and the Old Divides 2.TWO DOGMAS OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH Dogma 1: The Quantitative/Qualitative Distinction Dogma 2: The Fact/Value Dichotomy Conclusion: Toward Closing the Old Divides 3.THE QUANTITATIVE/QUALITATIVE DOGMA The Incompatibility Thesis and Research Practice The Incompatibility Thesis and Epistemological Paradigms Criteria for Evaluating Educational Research Some Observations About Pragmatism Conclusion: Compatibilist Educational Research 4.PERSISTENCE OF THE FACT/VALUE DOGMA The Received View and Program Evaluation The Received View and Educational Testing Conclusion: Why the Fact/Value Dogma Persists
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vii ix 1 2 5 9
15 16 21 25 29 30 34 39 42 44 47 48 57 61
vi
CLOSING METHODOLOGICAL DIVIDES
Part II Interpretivism and the New Divides 5.THE INTERPRETIVE TURN Epistemology The Ontology of the Self Politics Conclusion: Toward Closing the New Divides 6.THE CONSTRUCTIVIST TURN Constructivism’s Kantian Roots Constructivism and the “Linguistic Turn” The Foundering of Radical Constructivism Conclusion: Toward a Thoroughgoing Constructivism 7.ON THE THREAT OF EPISTEMOLOGICAL BIAS What is Bias? What is Epistemology? What is a Biased Epistemology? Conclusion: Controlling Bias Through Inclusion
65 67 71 74 79 81 82 84 90 92 95 96 97 100 106
Part III Ethical and Political Frameworks 8.THE INTERPRETIVE TURN AND RESEARCH ETHICS113 The Traditional Problematic113 The Contemporary Problematic118 Conclusion: Continuity Through Change130 9.TOWARD DEMOCRATIC EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH133 A General Framework for Democratic Educational Research135 The Democratic Framework Applied to Educational Policy Research140 The Democratic Framework Applied to Pedagogical Research142 Final Remarks143 References145
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