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Extra resources for Education and Theory (Conducting Educational Research)

Sample text

Carr, for example, prior to the revisions to his thinking articulated more recently (Carr, 1995, 2006) suggested that the ambit of theory encompassed a wide range of critical activity concerned with ‘intellectual resources’. He worried about a concern over the relation of theory to practice and the discontinuity between the two in education. The problem, he felt, was attributable to the fact that educational theory has in the past been seen as an attempt to derive practical principles from general philosophical beliefs, and more recently to a Hirstian belief that educational theory should draw on various forms of knowledge, particularly history, philosophy and the social sciences.

One can understand this conservatism on the part of students, since one of the commonest criticisms of the student dissertation is that the work is inadequately located in theory. Students, if they are wise, do as they are told by their supervisors. Even in their reflection, they understandably seek the right way. Foucault shares with Feyerabend a predilection for anarchy in this kind of personal thought, for a distaste for theory. Unusual and different opinion, local and specific knowledge should be given free play.

The reporter receives in response a two-stage narrative: In the first stage he [Martinez, the baseball player] reports the event. ‘He [the coach] said, ‘‘Throw strikes and keep ‘em off the bases,’’ . . ’’ ’ This is already brilliant enough, both as an account of what transpires between fully situated members of a community and as a wonderfully deadpan rebuke to the outsider who assumes the posture of an analyst. But Martinez is not content to leave the rebuke implicit, and in the second stage he drives the lesson home with a precision Wittgenstein might envy: ‘What else could I say?

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