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previous section: "b. Purposes of Humanities-Oriented Research in Education"

c. Content of Humanities-Oriented Research in Education


The general domain of humanities-oriented research in education includes various inter-related questions about how and why education transpires in the way it does; the purposes and interests it may serve, intended or not; and the consequences that result. Topics are typically rife with value dimensions—political, ethical, and/or aesthetic—which can be, and often are, an explicit focus of investigation, critique and recommendations for improvement. Although ever present, these value dimensions of humanities-oriented research need not have an explicit focus. Some humanities-oriented researchers take an illuminative portrayal approach, in which they provide insightful and sometimes provocative characterizations of educational processes and their origins but refrain from proffering judgments about what is good or bad about them as well as from making recommendations about how they can be improved. By contrast, other humanities-oriented researchers take a normative argument approach, in which they directly pursue questions of value, taking an explicit position about the need for, and (sometimes) means of accomplishing, fundamental changes in the methods and aims of education.


next section: "d. Methods of Humanities-Oriented Research in Education"

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