Countering the 'new orthodoxy' in educational research: a response to Phil Hodkinson

Hammersley, Martyn (2005). Countering the 'new orthodoxy' in educational research: a response to Phil Hodkinson. British Educational Research Journal, 31(2) pp. 139–155.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0141192052000340189

Abstract

In a previous article, Phil Hodkinson argued that there are currently attempts to impose a methodological orthodoxy on educational research, one that is empiricist in character and privileges quantitative method. While agreeing with much of what he says, I take issue with key elements of his argument. I suggest that he presents too rosy a picture of the existing state of educational research, question his apparent advocacy of a laissez-faire approach to its governance, and argue that he underplays the significant role that methodological rules can play in shaping the practice of research in desirable ways. I suggest that his approach is likely to reinforce paradigmatic fragmentation in the research community, and that this weakens any attempt to resist the internal and external pressures that currently threaten to damage or destroy educational research in the UK, and elsewhere.

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