Is educational policy a matter of doxa ? Overcoming the fact/value distinction in educational policy research

Michael Christodoulou


My aim in this theoretical article is to present an argument on the epistemological grounds of policy sociology. In particular, I have structured my argument as follows: first, I present the three most used epistemological traditions within which educational policy is implemented and I highlight their basic deficiencies. The goal of this presentation is to show how the reasons why the aims of policy researchers working within these traditions have failed are related to their assumptions regarding the fact/value distinction. Secondly, I describe in detail the arguments of Hilary Putnam and Richard Bernstein and I identify how they overcome the impasse this distinction leads to. Finally, I sketch three regulative principles stemming from their arguments, which could provide a fruitful epistemological context for deliberating about policy values, theorizing about educational policy problems and implementing policy research.


Policy research, fact/value distinction, epistemology, phronetic rationality, realism

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