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Case studies as spurious evaluations: the example of research on educational inequalitites

Foster, Peter; Gomm, Roger and Hammersley, Martyn (2000). Case studies as spurious evaluations: the example of research on educational inequalitites. British Journal of Educational Studies, 48(3) pp. 215–230.

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This article notes that much case study research focusing on educational inequalities is evaluative in character, in the sense that it draws value conclusions. Moreover, the evaluative character of these conclusions is often implicit. We argue that practical evaluation of this kind is inappropriate in research reports. We then discuss the legitimate role that values can play in case study research, notably in providing the basis for identifying important topics for inquiry and in selecting explanations from among causal factors. We outline the obligations associated with this role: that the non-evaluative character of the conclusions of the research must be emphasised, and that the value assumptions used to frame descriptions and explanations must be made explicit. We conclude by briefly examining the implications of our argument for educational evaluation, for action research, and for the notion of internal critique that is central to critical research.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2000 Blackwell Publishers Ltd, and SCSE
ISSN: 0007-1005
Keywords: case study research; evaluation; value neutrality; religion
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 20400
Depositing User: Users 9543 not found.
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2010 10:20
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 09:33
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