The SAGE Handbook for Research in Education stimulates and encourages students, faculty, and educational practitioners, including individuals in education, government, and the private sector who conduct applied and policy-oriented educational research, to place the pursuit of ideas at the epicentre of their research-from framing meaningful problems to identifying and addressing key challenges to the reporting and dissemination of their findings.

Muddying the Waters: The Many Purposes of Educational Inquiry

Muddying the waters: The many purposes of educational inquiry

There are more things in heaven and earth … than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

—Shakespeare, Hamlet

There is a conceit that is currently popular about an important genre of educational research—empirical research that has scientific pretensions. It is not merely a North American aberration, for it can also be found in the United Kingdom and in parts of Europe, and it is not unknown in Asia and Australasia. Put crassly, the conceit is this: In some influential quarters, empirical educational research is treated as being, in essence, a circumscribed enterprise with both narrow aims and narrow methods—despite the fact that many of the theories and much of the ...

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