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Education, Knowledge and Educology

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438 pages3 hours

Summary

This book addresses the questions of: (1) What is education? (2) What is knowledge about education?(3) How can knowledge about education be formed? (4) How can knowledge about education be organized? (5) What differences are there between knowledge about education and knowing about education? The immediate challenge which arises from asking these questions is how to begin? The successful conduct of disciplined inquiry about the educational process is one of the most difficult of all sets of skills to master. One reason for this difficulty is the complexity of the forms which disciplined inquiry about education can take. The complexity of the logical structure of disciplined inquiry about education makes it challenging to understand the relationships among different kinds of disciplined inquiry about the educational process. The complexity makes it difficult for one person to develop all of the necessary skills for successfully undertaking all of the different kinds of disciplined inquiry that are possible to conduct about education. In spite of its complexity, the logical structure of disciplined inquiry about the educational process is teachable and understandable. Given patience and appropriate practice, one can achieve understanding of and skill in the different kinds of disciplined inquiry about the educational process. The patience and practice are well rewarded by fruitful inquiry about education.
How many ways can one inquire about the educational process? There are at least three. They can be called analytic, normative and empirical inquiry. To undertake inquiry about education is to ask and answer questions about education and to verify answers to those questions. When questions are asked and answered systematically, and when answers are verified with appropriate, necessary and sufficient evidence, then the inquiry can be said to be disciplined inquiry. 'Disciplined inquiry' is a term which can be used to mean the systematic asking of questions about something, the systematic answering of those questions and the systematic verifying of answers to those questions with appropriate, necessary and sufficient evidence. Each kind of disciplined inquiry is distinguishable by its own logic of inquiry, object of inquiry (or object inquired about), product of inquiry, purpose of inquiry and techniques of inquiry. In the case of analytic inquiry, its logic of inquiry is the principle of necessity reasoning. Necessity reasoning is deduction, i.e. reasoning from a set of premises to a necessarily true conclusion. The objects inquired about are logical objects, i.e. concepts and propositions. The product of inquiry formed by analytic inquiry about education, if successful, is analytically true statements about education. Such statements constitute analytic knowledge about education. The purpose of inquiry implied by analytic inquiry about education is clarification of the meaning and implications of discourse about education. The techniques of inquiry implied by analytic inquiry include the techniques of definition, explication and illustration. The technique of illustration implies a large set of other techniques, which are explained and demonstrated in the text.
Some readers will read this book and say that it is a book in philosophy of education or analytic philosophy of education. But if they develop a sound understanding of the arguments presented in this book, they will recognize that this book is a work in the analytic philosophy of educology. This book has significance and applications for existing university courses in analytic philosophy of education, philosophy of education, philosophy of educology, research methods for conducting inquiry about education and research methods for conducting educological inquiry.

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