Living the Life of the Social Inquirer: Beginning Educational Research


  • Cate Watson University of Aberdeen



educational research, methodology, philosophy, epistemology, ontology, axiology


I contend that too much educational research has focused on method rather than methodology. This has led to uncritical research that accepts as a given the objective reality of the social constructs being investigated and is not concerned with an examination of the relationship between research and practice. In this paper I aim to show why an examination of the underlying "philosophical plumbing" is necessary before embarking on educational research. I then follow my own advice, examining my beliefs about epistemology, ontology and axiology in order to create the research space I am going to inhabit as I set out on my doctoral studies. In doing this I try to arrive at a synthesis of constructivism, postmodernism and participation, examining the tensions and possibilities that this synthesis gives rise to. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0502283


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Author Biography

Cate Watson, University of Aberdeen

Cate WATSON is a lecturer in Inclusive Practice at the University of Aberdeen and formerly Assistant Head Teacher at a special school for children with "emotional and behavioural difficulties". Her research interests are in teacher identities and narratives, especially as they relate to matters of teacher-pupil relationships.




How to Cite

Watson, C. (2005). Living the Life of the Social Inquirer: Beginning Educational Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(2).