ERIC Number: ED272409
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr-16
The Generation of Social Education Knowledge and the Problem of Relativism.
Maxcy, Spencer J.
What is deemed to be socially relevant knowledge as it comes from social educational theorists and inquirers is not a singular conception. The prevailing notion that only pluralistic and relativist, or positivist epistemological concepts of truth adequately capture social education inquiry and products, and that claims to human action based on "soft" or "fuzzy" qualitatively-driven bases are illicit, is clearly wrong headed. What is required is a new view of conceptual schemes and frameworks that does not run the risk of either positivistic metaphysics or vicious relativism. It is argued that a meta-theory of social education inquiry that is neither absolutist nor foundational in the traditional meanings of these terms, together with an attendant conception of what is socially useful knowledge, is capable of being constructed and followed in practice. However, this new view must grow from more sophisticated assumptions regarding what counts as wisdom rather than knowledge, who ought to inquire, and which tools of the inquiry processes are most instrumental to the generation of such wisdom, as well as what ends are appropriate for social education. (BZ)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).