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Theory and Practice in Historical Research

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The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between theory and practice in the study of educational history as a discipline. Attention is given to the apparent dichotomy between practitioners of historical research, concerned primarily with an empirical orientation to the reconstruction of educational events, and theoreticians, given to the analysis of events in the light of a closer consideration of history’s methodological and philosophical underpinnings. The problem is explored with reference to the exercise of value judgements that consciously or otherwise guide the long-standing process of historical criticism so integral to the reconstruction of events. The implications for research are examined in relation to three different methodological approaches to the study of the past.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Alberta

Publication date: 1996-01-01

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  • Educational Practice and Theory is a bi-annual, independent, refereed journal which, since its launch in 1978, has become an important independent forum for original ideas in education. It publishes innovative and original research in the area. Its focus is both applied and theoretical and it seeks articles from a diverse range of themes and countries.
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