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About the SeriesThe SAGE Key Concepts series provides students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension.Key Concepts in Education provides students with over 100 essential themes, topics and expressions that Education students are likely to encounter, both during their courses and beyond in professional practice. Co-authored to draw on experiences of working within academia, local authorities and the classroom, the entries provide:a definition of the concepta description of the historical and practical contextan explanation of how the concept is appliedan evaluation of the concepthelpful references and suggested further readingThis book will be essential reading for students of Education, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers. About the AuthorsFred Inglis is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Sheffield. Lesley Aers is a senior member of a local authority school improvement service and an Ofsted inspector. Both authors are former schoolteachers.  


At its most straightforward, a theory is an explanation proposed of a particular problem, and the test of it is whether the explanation holds up. A theoretic explanation of a social action is therefore, in common parlance or in academic history, a story about what is going on which seems to fit the facts and provide for our understanding of the events in question.

In the thirteenth century, an English Franciscan monk called William of Ockham enunciated his so-called ‘principle of parsimony’ (or ‘Ockham's razor’) according to which any explanation should ruthlessly cut away any superfluous detail and confine itself to the simplest and most reductive terms possible. This recommendation will hold good for all forms of explanation, whether in the human or natural sciences. ...

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