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‘Disciplines Contributing to Education?’ Educational Studies and the Disciplines

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This article explores disciplinary approaches to educational studies over the past fifty years, in particular those developed by exponents of the ‘foundation disciplines’ of history, philosophy, psychology and sociology. It investigates the establishment of the disciplines during the first half of the period, and their consolidation, survival, and adaptation since the 1970s in a rapidly changing educational and political context. The nature of the contribution of the disciplines, both separately and together, to the study of education is assessed. The article also considers the role of the disciplines in stimulating a pluralist and eclectic approach to the study of education, as opposed to the notion of a unitary and autonomous field of knowledge represented as ‘educational research’.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Sheffield

Publication date: March 1, 2002


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