Philosophy: Emmanuel Kant

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“Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play” (RCN 2012, 14), With the above quote, Immanuel Kant calls for the strong union of theory and experience, a union that has subsequently been emphasised in my in developing views and understanding of educational research. The philosopher claims that theory and experience are meaningless without the other, and whilst written centuries ago his views are both telling and applicable to this field of inquiry. My position in this paper is, that educational research is only effective and significant, when there exist a strong connection of data (equivalent to Kant’s experience) to theory. This position will be examined through critically engaging with the value of research, research data use and the conduct of educational research. Gay et al. (2013) defines a theory as an “organised body of concepts, generalisations and principles that can be subjected to investigation” (578). A theory is the end result of the “process of systematically formulating and organising ideas to understand a particular phenomenon” (Boss et al as quoted in RCN 2012, 3). Suppes (1974) in his prominent work, The Place of Theory in Educational Research, states that educational research needed to replicate the natural sciences, as the success of theory within those fields were widely recognized (4). A few decades later, Punch (2009) in his Introduction to Research Methods in Education, states that the two pillars
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