Undead Theories: Constructivism, Eclecticism and Research in Education

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Sense Publishers, 2006 - Education - 168 pages
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Theory is dead... long live theory! In this collection of linked essays, David Geelan explores the contentious relationship between theory and research in education. The first chapter proclaims the 'death of theory' in educational research, but the remainder of the book explores a number of the ways in which theory survives and thrives. A commitment to conducting educational research that directly serves students and teachers, and that changes the life in classrooms through negotiation and collaboration, not through prescription, requires new tools and new ways of using them. Such tools include narrative modes of conducting and representing research as well as a 'disciplined eclecticism' that emphasises choosing and using competing theories in intentional ways. Metaphorical descriptions from the philosophy of science - particularly Kuhn and Popper - have been influential in science education. David explores the value of such perspectives, and argues that although they have offered important insights for science education, their use has also 'forced other perspectives into blindness'. In the contexts of research methodology, educational philosophy, science education and educational technology, David talks about new 'places to stand and ways to look' but, more importantly, gives specific examples of the ways in which these methodological tools and philosophical perspectives have been used in his own teaching and research practices.
 

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Contents

Introduction Undead Theories
1
SECTION ONE THEORY AND DISCIPLINED ECLECTICISM
7
SECTION TWO BUILDING CONSTRUCTIVISM
51
SECTION THREE TELLING STORIES TO EXPLORE CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE
81
SECTION FOUR EXPLORING WEBBASED COMMUNICATION
109
Conclusion Places to stand and ways to look
145
Index
149
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