Forms of Curriculum Inquiry

Edited by Edmund C. Short

Subjects: Curriculum
Series: SUNY series in Curriculum Issues and Inquiries
Paperback : 9780791406496, 346 pages, July 1991
Hardcover : 9780791406489, 346 pages, July 1991

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Table of contents


Introduction: Understanding Curriculum Inquiry

Edmund C. Short

1. Philosophical Inquiry: Conceptual Analysis

Jerrold R. Coombs and Le Roi B. Daniels

2. Philosophical Inquiry: Ampliative Criticism

Nelson L. Haggerson

3. Philosophical Inquiry: The Speculative Essay

William H. Schubert

4. Historical Inquiry: Telling Real Stories

O. L. Davis, Jr.

5. Scientific Inquiry: Explanations and Limits

Arthur W. Foshay

6. Ethnographic Inquiry: Understanding Culture and Experience

Valerie J. Janesick

7. Narrative Inquiry: Storied Experience

F. Michael Connelly and D. Jean Clandinin

8. Aesthetic Inquiry: Art Criticism

Elizabeth Vallance

9. Phenomenological Inquiry: Life-World Perceptions

George Willis

10. Hermeneutic Inquiry: The Hermeneutic Imagination and the Pedagogic Text

David G. Smith

11. Theoretical Inquiry: Components and Structure

Richard W. Grove and Edmund C Short

12. Normative Inquiry: Dimensions and Stances

Louise M. Berman

13. Critical Inquiry: A Paradigm for Praxis

Kenneth A. Sirotnik

14. Evaluative Inquiry: Situational Assessment

Jean A. King

15. Integrative Inquiry: The Research Synthesis

Colin J. Marsh

16. Deliberative Inquiry: The Arts of Planning

Ilene Harris

17. Action Inquiry: Studied Enactment

Jim McKernan

Afterword: Closing Reflections

Edmund C. Short



This book presents an overview of seventeen forms of inquiry used in curriculum research in education. Conventional disciplinary forms of inquiry, such as philosophical, historical, and scientific, are described, as well as more recently acknowledged forms such as ethnographic, aesthetic, narrative, phenomenological, and hermeneutic. Interdisciplinary forms such as theoretical, normative, critical, deliberative, and action research are also included. These forms of inquiry are distinguished from one another in terms of purposes, types of research questions addressed, and the processes and logic of procedure employed in arriving at knowledge claims.

Edmund C. Short is Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The Pennsylvania State University.


"This book represents a needed resource in the field of curriculum — a handbook on research methodology. No other such book exists with a specific focus on curriculum research — nor does one exist with any such specific focus within the field of education to my knowledge. It will undoubtedly become a well-used reference book by students and scholars in curriculum. Two other very important strengths of the book are the extensive bibliography at the end of each chapter and its international scope. The individual chapters are very competently written by recognized scholars who have established a good degree of expertise and recognition in the methodologies they discuss. " — M. Frances Klein, University of Southern California

"There is no other place one can turn right now to find a single work that sets out these different approaches to education inquiry. This book answers a need. The past ten years have seen an incredible expansion in the approaches to inquiry in education in general and in curriculum in particular. No one else has tried to survey these approaches for others in the field, probably because no one but Edmund Short has figured out what they all are, their similarities and differences and relationships to each other. " — Nathalie J. Gehrke, University of Washington