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Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ERPM000: The Nature of Educational Enquiry

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Indicative Reading List

This reading list is indicative - i.e. it provides an idea of texts that may be useful to you on this module, but it is not considered to be a confirmed or compulsory reading list for this module.


Pring, R. (2015). Philosophy of educational research.  3rd edition online access. London/New York: Bloomsbury 

Norwich, B. (2019) Thinking about the nature of educational research: going beyond superficial theoretical scripts. Review of Education, DOI: 10.1002/rev3.3182

Overview topics:

Issues in educational research : 

Hammersley, M. (2003) Social research today: some dilemmas    and distinctions. Qualititative Social Work, 2(1), 25-44.

Osberg, D.C. & Biesta, G.J.J.  (2007). Beyond    Presence: Epistemological and pedagogical implications of    'strong' emergence.  Interchange 38 (1) 31-55.

Schwandt, T.A. (2011) The SAGE Dictionary of Qualitative Inquiry. Thousand Oaks. SAGE Publications.

Stenhouse, L. (1981) What Counts as Research? British    Journal of Educational Studies, 29 (2) 103-114. 

Symonds, J.E. and Gorard, S. (2010) death of mixed methods?    Or the rebirth of research as a craft? Evaluation and research    in Education, 23,2, 121-136. 


Alexander, H.A. (2006) A view from somewhere: explaining the paradigms of educational research. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 40, 2, 205-221 

Morgan, D.L. (2014) Pragmatism as a Paradigm for Social Research. Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 20(8) 1045–1053

Talisse R About pragmatism - listen to podcast from Philosophy Bites website

Critical realism

Scott, D. (2007) Resolving the      qualitative-quantitative dilemma: a critical realist      approach. International Journal of Research & Method      in Education, 30 (1), pp. 3–17

Evidence-based practice

Biesta, G.J.J. (2007). Why ‘what works’ won’t work.    Evidence-based practice and the democratic deficit of    educational research. Educational Theory 57(1), 1-22.      

Clegg, S. (2005) Evidence-based practice in educational    research: a critical realist critique of systematic review    British Journal of Sociology of Education,  26, 3,.    415–428. 

Hammersley, M (2005) Is the evidence-based practice    movement doing more good than harm?, Evidence and Policy, vol.    1, no. 1, 2005, pp1-16

MacLure,M. (2005) ‘Clarity bordering on stupidity’: where’s    the quality in systematic review?, Journal of Education Policy,    20(4), 393-416. 

Critical-emancipatory perspectives

Biesta, G (2010) A New Logic of Emancipation: The Methodology of Jacques Ranciere. Educational Theory 60, no.1: 39-59.

Carr, W (2007) Educational research as a practical science,  International Journal of Research & Method in Education,30:3,271-286.

Reygan, Finn, & Dennis Francis (2015) Emotions and pedagogies of discomfort: Teachers’ responses to sexual and gender diversity in the Free State, South Africa, Education as Change, 19:1, 101-119.

Schostak J. & Schostak J. (2012) Writing Research critically. Developing the power to make a difference London and New York. Routledge.

Post-modern/post-structural approaches

Adams St. Pierre, Elizabeth (2013). The posts continue: becoming, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26:6, 646-657.

Ball, S. (2013) Foucault, Power and Education. Abingdon: Routledge.