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ERIC Number: ED111700
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Science vs. Philosophy in Education: The Kelley-Kilpatrick Debate of 1929-31 as a Moment in the Development of Educational Analysis. Draft.
Szoke, Ron
The long-forgotten debate of 1929-31 between T. L. Kelley and W. H. Kilpatrick is reviewed with the aim of reviving the crucial, but dormant, issue of the competence of quantitative empirical research to answer educational questions. They debated the need to supplement scientific method with a philosophical approach sensitive to needs, impulses, and interests. First, the causes and objectives of the debate are placed in historical and intellectual perspective by describing the wave of technological optimism that occurred about 1890-1920. Then, the principal points made by the debaters are reviewed and examined. It is concluded that Kilpatrick won the debate by making a strong case for the complementarity of scientific and philosophical methods in education. But, it can be granted to Kelley that educational analysis and theorizing has often seemed undisciplined and concerned more with displaying cleverness or doctrinal purity than with getting things right. Today, the situation of the late 1920s still exists: a narrow positivist orthodoxy among influential methodologists coupled with dissatisfaction on the part of others about triviality, irrelevance, and inconclusiveness of research using the scientific method. It is suggested that it is possible for research to be both rigorous and relevant; thus, the issue should be reopened. (Author/ND)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, D. C., April 1975); Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document