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Title: Philosophy in Education Policy Research: its Relevance and Scope
Authors: Lyons, Christopher
Keywords: PoE 2015
Issue Date: 28-May-2015
Abstract: As many of us are probably aware, philosophy as a discipline and the philosophy of education are fields of academic study in decline. It appears that philosophy, at least in the university, has reached the end of a gallows of its own constructing. If philosophy is going to proliferate as a discipline it is going to need to adapt itself to our volatile times and find ways to make itself relevant to a professional research and policy studies climate. Intellectual bridgeheads need to be made in various disciplines to revitalize the philosophy of education and assign it a place of value. This paper will argue that the lack of philosophy in educational policy studies is an intellectual and theoretical weakness. Analytical philosophy can add theoretical depth and richness to policy studies and inquiry, and philosophical approaches can add to the methodological infrastructure of educational policy studies and policy work as a field. The issue of adapting philosophical methods and approaches will be drawn out, explained, and discussed. Education policy is widely regarded as an interdisciplinary field, but it is often only tenuously related to philosophy and does not consider or use philosophical methods in its analysis. There simply is no tradition of philosophical analysis in policy studies. The purpose of applying philosophical methods to an object in educational policy is not for the sake of prediction, control, and input-output ratios, but to add richness to the body of theory, ideas, and concepts that inform policy thinking. Decision makers require a whole range of information. The information needs, particularly in educational policy, are vast and complex. New kinds of analysis serve to renew and improve the theoretical infrastructure of the domain.
Description: Paper on policy research from the PoE conference in 2015
Appears in Collections:Philosophy of Education

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