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Chapter 38. Philosophy, Research, and Education. Koetting, R., J. (1996). Philosophy, research, and education. In D. Jonassen, H. (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (pp. 1137-1147). New York: Macmillan. Is Philosophy a Distraction?.

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chapter 38 philosophy research and education

Chapter 38. Philosophy, Research, and Education

Koetting, R., J. (1996). Philosophy, research, and education. In D. Jonassen, H. (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (pp. 1137-1147). New York: Macmillan.

is philosophy a distraction
Is Philosophy a Distraction?
  • What’s the problem with philosophy?
      • Philosophy is nagging.
      • It generates doubts and uncertainties about our basic assumptions: Objectivity, Validity, Truth and Fact, Theory, etc.
  • Why might philosophy be “nagging”?
      • “There is a greater sense of urgency felt today to come up with answers to educational problems.”
      • Because philosophy asks us to “question and doubt, sometimes it keeps [us] from getting [our] work done”
  • Nevertheless, concepts in philosophy are also of central importance in education.
the mainstream position in education it isn t philosophical
The Mainstream Position in Education: It isn’t philosophical.
  • It is an attempt to solve educational problems through: disciplined methods, collection & analysis of primary data, and the description, explanation, generalization, and prediction of phenomena.
  • Philosophy is not research because it does not “typically incorporate primary source data, empirical evidence, or observation”.
  • Philosophy is therefore placed “outside legitimate educational research”.
what is philosophy
What is Philosophy?
  • The core of Western philosophy includes:
      • Metaphysics/ontology
      • Epistemology
      • Axiology
  • Are these core concepts also central to education? If so, “the lives of educators and researchers are rooted in philosophical and moral struggles and questions, and consequently they cannot view their work as a neutral enterprise”.
philosophy is foundational for educational inquiry perspective 1
Philosophy is “foundational” for educational inquiry — Perspective 1
  • A research framework according to the core concepts of philosophy.
      • They provide a conceptual framework “that gives coherence”.
      • These concepts are at the heart of education.
      • Allows “us to pose multiple questions”
      • Simply, “engaging in this questioning is philosophical inquiry, it is “doing philosophy”.
philosophy is foundational for educational inquiry perspective 2
Philosophy is “foundational” for educational inquiry — Perspective 2
  • A research framework according to the mode of philosophy.
      • Descriptive — grounding educational research within a philosophical tradition.
      • Normative — critical thinking and analysis that involves existing research.
      • Analytical — clarifying educational concepts, beliefs, arguments, and assumptions.
  • This too is doing philosophy!
philosophy is foundational for educational inquiry perspective 3
Philosophy is “foundational” for educational inquiry — Perspective 3
  • Educational research according to the research paradigm.
      • Different research paradigms: Positivistic, interpretive, and critical.
      • They each carry very different assumptions.
      • What are those assumptions?
  • This too is doing philosophy.
all types of thinking have their place
All types of “thinking” have their place.
  • Positivistic, sociological, political, professional, etc.
  • One question that is “uniquely philosophical”: What are the ends of education?
      • Means and ends are inseparable
        • What does it mean to be an educated person?
        • What does it mean to be educated with technology?
      • For you, what are the ends of education?
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There are, therefore, three assumptions that underlie the nature of philosophical inquiry in education
  • All phenomena, in education, are appropriate subject matter.
  • Education is always locally situated.
  • Means and ends, and their interrelationship, are important.
we ve asked you to be philosophical and think about three questions
We’ve asked you to be “philosophical” and think about three questions:
  • Question #1: Why might philosophical questions of existence, knowledge, and value be important to instructional technology?
  • Question #2: Based on your chosen research paradigm, what assumptions are you making? Do you take it for granted?
  • Question #3: What are the ends of education, for you? What does it mean to be educated with technology?