empirical research

8 May 2017

This article considers the importance of the method in educational research. The method is necessary for achieving the aims of research. We present methodological complementarity and complexity and the firm correspondence between them as principles of educational research since science and research are, without any question, primarily based on the method. The field of education is an area of reality that can be known in various ways and that requires a global approach that might not be limited to knowledge of education as this provides only a partial position. Depending on the type of educational problems under consideration, knowledge of education will be required and the form of knowledge that is most appropriate to the object of study will be applied as it corresponds to the proper use of methodological complementarity as a principle of pedagogical research. The text concludes with a reflection on our situation as educators and researchers.


Cite this article as: Sáez Alonso, R. (2017). La prioridad del método en la investigación pedagógica | The priority of method in pedagogical research. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 75 (267), 239-254. doi: https://doi.org/10.22550/REP75-2-2017-04

19 November 2015

This is a speculative response to the article published in this journal by Fernando Gil Cantero and David Reyero advocating the priority of philosophy of education on empirical research. This answer is based on four arguments: Contemporary empirical research involves an ontology rather complex than it is assumed in their paper.The relationship between both disciplines takes place at two levels: At the most general level they are interdependent; at the lower level, close to the action, they can not contradict each other. In order to apply knowledge coming from both disciplines to practical problems, an epistemic intermediary is necessary. This intermediary combines principles derived from both disciplines, but also additional assumptions that jointly shape a pedagogical normative. The epistemic intermediary is what we call the professional wisdom, whose intertwined components are wisdom and technology, both necessary for the professional performance of teachers.

19 November 2015

This is a reply to José Luis Gavirias paper <The Priority of the Philosophy of Education over the Empirical Disciplines in Educational Research. A response to Gil Cantero and Reyero>. The main arguments to be discussed are as follows: Education is an action, not an object, nor a closed mechanism made of programmed inputs and outputs which can be probabilistically considered. Education is essentially constituted by value orientations; the complex reality of the human is not limited by what is real, current or empirical. What is possible is relevant too. Hope takes part of educational knowledge; the hope that what is unexpected finally happens. Judgment in education is a kind of unveiling, it is an empathic adequacy, it is the subjective experience of an educational ideal which appears to us as a whole coherent with a particular sense of reality.

10 June 2014

The paper explores the relationship between empirical educational research and philosophy of education. The authors analyze the arguments against the dominant character of the empirical paradigm and find three types of arguments. The first one, would consist in arguments that criticize the technification of political decisions. The second one, arguments based in educational particularities and the third one, arguments based on relational characteristic of the educational activity and the value of practical moral judgment. The text ends with a reflection on the contributions of that philosophy of education can make to empirical research.

These contributions can be grouped into three categories. First, it can help to establish an epistemological approach to research, second, it offers a holistic view of the educational phenomenon that enables to see better the scope and limits of research results and third, it provides particular modes of articulating thought, to assist educators in critical clarification of educational issues.