This book explores the complex social assumptions and values that underlie research programmes about schools. The analysis of educational research draws upon American and European scholarships in the sociology of knowledge, social philosophy and the history and sociology of science. The discussion considers first the communal, crafts and social characteristics of educational research. Three research models empirical-analytic, symbolic or linguistic and critical sciences are given attention. The discussion of the three research models is to illuminate how the constellation of commitments, assumptions and practices inter-relate to perform a paradigm giving different and conflicting definitions to the meaning of educational theory and to the use of the particular techniques of enquiry. The social role of educational research and the researcher is also considered.

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