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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Research (EDU)

Postgraduate Course: The Nature of Enquiry (REDU11002)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course is to introduce philosophical and epistemological perspectives that inform research practice in the social sciences in an educational context. The course provides an essential introduction to the issue of values and ethical problems in educational research. It discusses conceptions of education and their implications for educational research processes. Within MSc by Research (Education).
Course description The aim of this course is to introduce philosophical and epistemological perspectives that inform the aims and practices of social and educational research. Discussion of the main debates between positivism, critical theory, constructivism, post modernism, feminism will lead to a consideration of the arguments and assumptions which each makes about the social world. The course will focus on issues of knowledge, what is knowledge, how do we know what knowledge is as well as determining what knowledge is for education research.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Please contact the course secretary before enrolling students to verify spaces available
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay Plan: (formative)

Essay: (100% weighting)
This 4,000 words assignment will assess all three learning outcomes.
Feedback All students will be expected over the length of the course to present a paper on a particular position. The presentation will be a group presentation but a feed forward meeting with the course organiser will take place for each group prior to the presentation. Feedback on the presentation will be given in class.

The students will also be expected to submit a feedforward plan of around 300 words of their essay assignment. The course organiser will comment on this plan.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the main traditions and paradigms of educational research
  2. Analyse the ways in which the different methodological positions affect research questions, and research design
  3. Demonstrate critical awareness of the values and ethical debates inherent in social and educational research.
Reading List
Hirst P & Carr W (2005) Philosophy And Education ¿ A Symposium, Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 39, 4, pp 615-632

Pritchard, D. (2013), Epistemic Virtue and the Epistemology of Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 47: 236?247

Dewey, J. (1916). Experience and Thinking. (Chapter 11, pages 108-117.) in Democracy and Education. in the Public Domain, Champaign, ill: Project Gutenberg.

Schrag, F. (1992) In Defense of Positivist Research Paradigms. Educational Researcher, 21 (5): 5-8.

Baxter, J. (2002) 'Competing discourses in the classroom: a Post-structuralist Discourse Analysis of girls' and boys' speech in public contexts', Discourse and Society, 13(6): 827-842.

Harding, S. (1987) 'Introduction: Is There a Feminist Method?' in Harding, S. (1987) (ed) Feminism and Methodology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Hammersley, M. (2004). Some questions about evidence-based practice in education. In G. Thomas & R. Pring (Eds.), Evidence-based practice in education. (pp. 133-149). Maidenhead: OU Press.
Additional Information
Course URL!/fileManager/NatureOfEnquiry-CourseOutline.pdf
Graduate Attributes and Skills be able to exercise critical judgment in creating new understanding

be ready to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry

be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest

be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts
Special Arrangements This course is open to students from other schools, however, please contact the course secretary prior to enrolling your Tutee in order to verify that there is space available; students on MSc Educational Research and MSc Education have priority.
Study Abroad None
Additional Class Delivery Information There will be 10 classes of 2 hours duration.

The classes will consist of student presentation, discussion and staff presentation.
KeywordsKnowledge Understanding Education Reseach Enquiry
Course organiserProf John Ravenscroft
Tel: (0131 6)51 6181
Course secretaryMr Craig Russell
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