Feyerabend revisited: epistemological anarchy and disciplined eclecticism in educational research
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education
Discussion between the adherents of various orientations within educational research has often generated more heat than light. A pervasive analogy drawn in these discussions has been between the philosophy of science and educational research. In this paper I explore the value of several influential perspectives within twentieth century philosophy of science as means of understanding what researchers in education do, and why. I suggest that Paul Feyerabend’s ‘anything goes’ epistemological perspective has much to offer in supporting rich educational research. If positivist standards of validity and reliability are no longer considered appropriate for some forms of educational research, however, new standards for justification and representation, explicitly stated within the research, will be necessary.