Historical Research in Education

Authored by: John L. Rury

Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education Research

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  January  2012

Print ISBN: 9780805859324
eBook ISBN: 9780203874769
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283315

10.4324/9780203874769.ch19

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Abstract

Historical inquiry is an old and distinguished branch of social and educational research. Although historians employ a wide range of research strategies and different types of data, they have long relied on an inductive approach to their craft. Like qualitative researchers in other disciplines, historians often must be opportunistic in constructing interpretations, drawing from the sources they can find. A critical difference is that historians use documents and other artifacts to develop such explanations, and this is what is most challenging about their research. Historians use these remnants of the past to generate coherent interpretations. And because frames of reference shift and new evidence arises, history is an ever-changing field of research, subject to considerable debate and controversy.

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