This volume offers an overview of the pragmatic understanding of knowledge and the acquisition of knowledge, and its implications for the conduct of educational research. Pragmatism and Educational Research focuses primarily on the work of John Dewey, and examines the relationship between pragmatism and educational research both in relation to research methodology and to a pragmatic educational theory. Biesta and Burbules provide examples of characteristic research questions and research methods and approaches, as informed by a pragmatist outlook. Further, they argue that the major benefit of a pragmatic approach to educational research lies in the possibility of promoting intelligent and reflective action by educational practitioners.
This volume is a wonderfully concise and lucid exposition of the pragmatic theory of learning and knowing.
Biesta and Burbules's Pragmatism and Educational Research is the best book I have seen on the implications of pragmatism for social and educational research. It offers a sophisticated yet clear exposition of Dewey's work on experience, knowledge, inquiry, and truth, among other subjects. His pragmatism is then put to work, throwing light on current controversies in educational research. The upshot is a way of approaching educational research that is simultaneously scientific and humane and avoids the polarizing pitfalls of positivism, post-positivism, and post-modernism. This book deserves to have a major influence on the way educational research is conceived.
Larry A. Hickman
This well-crafted and accessible volume delivers a vivid account of the central themes of John Dewey's philosophy as they apply to educational research. Biesta and Burbules present a Dewey who is relevant for educators at every level and of every methodological persuasion.
This is a book that will find a wide readership in doctoral programs in education; this is especially true of those, like ours at Michigan State, which require students to take a general inquiry course as part of their research preparation. This book provides ideal intellectual fare for such a course.
Gert J. J. Biesta is professor of educational theory at University of Exeter. Nicholas C. Burbules is professor of educational policy studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the editor of Educational Theory.
Chapter 1 Series Preface Nicholas C. Burbules Chapter 3 1. What is Pragmatism? Chapter 4 2. From Experience to Knowledge Chapter 5 3. The Process of Inquiry Chapter 6 4. Consequences of Pragmatism Chapter 7 5. Pragmatism and Educational Research