Critical Realism: The required philosophical compass for inclusion?

Burnett, Nicholas B. (2007) Critical Realism: The required philosophical compass for inclusion? In Australian Association of Research in Education : Research Impacts: Proving or improving?, 25 th - 29 th November, 2007, Fremantle, Western Australia. (Unpublished)


Although during recent years in the field of special education there has been much debate regarding inclusion and people’s beliefs around disability, it is suggested that what has been lacking in many of the discussions is any coherent guiding philosophy that helps direct research in this area. The paper proposes that critical realism, developed by philosopher Roy Bhaskar, may provide such a framework and offers a philosophical 'compass' (Egbo, 2005) to researchers who want to be engaged in critical social scientific inquiry. The paper will briefly outline the main ontological and epistemological tenets of critical realism before exploring these in relation to the literature in the fields of disability, inclusion and special education. Finally it suggests that critical realism avoids many of the fallacies associated with educational research and could be seen as useful way forward in the debate around inclusion and propose where further research is required.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

788 since deposited on 11 Oct 2007
65 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 10090
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Special Education and Disability (130312)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 AARE & The Authors
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:47

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page