There exists a vast literature on evidence‐based practice in education. The debate branches out in several directions, for example, what EBP entails for the nature of educational practice, what it entails for the teaching profession, what counts as use and abuse of evidence, and what educational research could or should contribute to a what works kind of practice. In this essay Tone Kvernbekk focuses on the fate of the concept of evidence in the debate, observing that the concept seems, by (...) and large, to be missing from the debate. She argues that educational debates about EBP stand to gain in nuance and depth from employing philosophical insights about evidence. Kvernbekk develops this claim by discussing different conceptions of evidence and by inquiring into three aspects of the evidentiary relation: the meaning of “based,” underdetermination, and the relativization of evidence. (shrink)
This article is a discussion of Ralph Johnson’s concept of practice of argumentation. Such practice is characterized by three properties: (1) It is teleological, (2) it is dialectical, and (3) it is manifestly rational. I argue that Johnson’s preferred definition of practice—which is Alasdair MacIntyre’s concept of practice as a human activity with internal goods accessible through partcipation in that same activity—does not fit these properties or features. I also suggest that this failure should not require Johnson to adjust the (...) properties to make them fit the practice concept. While MacIntyre’s concept of practice clearly has some attractive features, it does not provide what Johnson wants from a concept of practice. (shrink)
In this paper I shall examine Ralph Johnson’s concept of argumentation practice. He provides the following three desiderata for a critical practice: It is teleological, it is dialectical, and it is manifestly rational. I shall argue that Johnson’s preferred definition of practice – which is MacIntyre’s concept of practice as human activity with internal goods accessible through participation in that same activity – does not satisfy his desiderata.
ABSTRACT: It is not uncommon, in argumentation and in various professions, to diagnose a gap between theory and practice; and in the next step argue that they should be brought into line with each other. But what does this mean? I shall argue that some version of a gap is sound, as it leaves theory with a critical, independent role in relation to practice – something that an equilibrium view does not.
In educational discourse dialogue tends to be viewed as being (morally) superior to monologue. When we look at them as basic forms of communication, we find that dialogue is a two-way, one-to-one form and monologue is a one-way, one-to-many form. In this paper I revisit the alleged (moral) superiority of dialogue. First, I problematize certain normative features of dialogue, most notably reciprocity. Here I use Socrates as my example (the Phaedrus). Second, I discuss monologue, using Jesus as my example (St. (...) Luke's gospel). I argue that there are values in the monological form that tend to be overlooked and unrecognized, for example the freedom of the audience not to respond. (shrink)
This important book explores the question of what an educational theory is and how educational theories can work. It offers a classification scheme of distinct types of educational theory and considers ways the nature of theories can inform the work of educational theorists and practitioners. Kvernbekk observes throughout how metatheoretical knowledge of the structure of theory types will improve understanding and representation of educational phenomena and enhance the ability to change these phenomena for the better. The author explores how the (...) philosophy of science can answer what a theory is and applies two influential but different theory conceptions to the field of education. It is argued that educational theories are representational devices that allow us to understand, describe and explain phenomena, and, when desired, to change them. The analysis offers a classification scheme that allows us to discriminate distinct types of educational theory: goal-directed, equivalence and interlevel theories. Examples of all three types are discussed, covering their structure, what they say about the phenomena and how they say it. The book also offers a critical overview of different conceptions of practice and different understandings of the theory-practice relationship. Encouraging a strong understanding of what theories say about the phenomena they represent, this book will be of interest to educational researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of philosophy of education, education theory and education policy. (shrink)
This article analyzes the concept of narrative.How do we recognize a narrative when we seeone? Which criteria do we or should we apply?The article itself serves as a (possible)example of a narrative, and is thus adiscussion of itself as a narrative product. Ialso discuss the possible narrative structureof the process leading up to the completedarticle. I first discuss two approaches tocategorization and the most commonly referredto criteria for identifying narratives. Next Idiscuss various roles found in narratives andthe roles found in (...) the current article. FinallyI discuss the problems principally involved inpunctuation of sequences and thus in decidingwhich narrative we are dealing with. Itis concluded that the categorization criteriaare too vague to perform the job they areintended to do. (shrink)
There is a vast literature on evidence-based practice in education. What function does evidence have in practical deliberations toward decisions about what to do? Most writers on EBP seem to think of evidence largely as quantitative data, serving as a foundation from which practice could and should be directly derived. In this paper I argue that we are better served by according a different and more indirect function to evidence in practical reasoning. To establish this claim I employ Toulmin’s model (...) of argumentation. On this model the evidence-as-foundation view amounts to evidence as data/grounds. The model also offers a different function for evidence, as backing of the warrant, and I argue in this paper that this is a more adequate understanding of the function of evidence in practical reasoning. (shrink)