Research in higher education could be more useful, innovative and better designed if we were clearer about the philosophical and epistemological basis of the theories that underlie our research methods. People who have to interpret research would do a better job if they were able to interrogate research more critically and appreciate its strengths and weaknesses. This volume provides this information for an audience of researchers, policymakers, students and lecturers in higher education. The authors seek to create a dialogue with the reader about issues relevant to the philosophy of research and stimulate interest in how philosophy plays out in the real, everyday, political world, not least in education. Unlike many existing volumes on the market, this book creates a space in which readers can use the tools for thinking that the authors describe to interrogate their own experience.
Brian J. Brown is a Reader in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University. Sally Baker is a Post-doctoral researcher in the School of Social Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor.
1. Theories of knowledge and theories of society; 2. The truth is out there?: Positivism and realism; 3. Interpretative approaches, ethnographies of higher education and description of experience; 4. Philosophies of research in education: Knowledge in education and knowledge of education; 5. Evidence-based practice in higher education; 6. Conclusion: Philosophies of research and philosophies of higher education.