Education and Theory: Strangers in Paradigms

Education and Theory: Strangers in Paradigms

Education and Theory: Strangers in Paradigms

Education and Theory: Strangers in Paradigms

Excerpt

When I entered higher education as a lecturer about 20 years ago I was confused and slightly mistrustful about education academics' obsession with theory, paradigm and the 'ologies', half-thinking that this preoccupation with the vocabulary of the philosophy of science had not a little to do with Maureen Lipman's 'You get an ology, you're a scientist!' For those who didn't see the advertisement, a grandma (actress Maureen Lipman) is on the phone to her grandson Anthony, who has just received his GCSE results. Desultorily, he recalls two or three mediocre passes - in vocational rather than academic subjects. For Anthony this all amounts to abject failure and he confesses this to his worried-looking grandma. Then, almost worse than the performance in the vocational subjects, he pleads guilty to a pass in sociology. But grandma, suddenly delighted with this, calls to grandpa, 'An ology. He gets an ology and he says he's failed'. Turning back to her conversation with her grandson, she declares, 'You get an ology, you're a scientist!'

The germ of my interest lay in confusion which had strayed into mistrust and I wish I could say that I finished this book by having seen the sunlit path to understanding. But in fact I have finished more confused, albeit that my confusion is now more comprehensive and better organized. I hope that my reflections on the topic of theory will help others who have also suffered in silence on the topic and give them confidence to express their own uncertainties and doubts. Only thus will more clarity emerge about theory's meaning in education, and only thus will the use of the word - or at least the meanings to which the word is put - become more transparent. I hope that the book may be a small contribution to better understanding and richer kinds of inquiry.

I am indebted to the Leverhulme Trust and its anonymous referees for the award to me of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship on the subject of theory in education - a Fellowship that has helped considerably in my . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.