, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

Perspectivism: An Alternative Research Epistemology for the 21st Century Schools



Educational researchers have urged school practitioners to shift from isolated patterns of work to a communal negotiation of meaning in order to overcome problems in an uncertain environment. Nevertheless, researchers, in their inquiry processes, are still bounded within a net of epistemological premises (from objectivism on the one hand to skepticism on the other) that withhold a communal learning of schoolwork at this turbulent time. To overcome this impediment, perspectivism, as an alternative research epistemology, is presented. Perspectivism acknowledges that the nature of any entity is evoked from the relationship it maintains with other entities in the world. This research epistemology increases the burden and responsibility on educational researchers, requiring to negotiate meaning through continuous discursive means in the scientific community.


Perspectivism epistemology objectivism skepticism 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andrews D., Lewis M. (2002). The experience of a professional community: Teachers developing a new image of themselves and their workplace. Educational Research 44(3): 237-254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bateson G. (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. San Francisco, Chandler Publishing CoGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernstein R. (1983). Beyond objectivism and relativism. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania PressGoogle Scholar
  4. Boden M.A. (1990). Introduction. In: Boden M.A (eds), The philosophy of artificial intelligence. New-York, Oxford University Press, pp. 1-21Google Scholar
  5. Caldwell B., Spinks J. (1988). The self-managing school. London, The Falmer PressGoogle Scholar
  6. Chandler M. (1987). The Othello effect: Essay on the emergent and eclipse of skeptical doubt. Human Development 30, 137-159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cherwitz R.A., Hikins J.W. (1983). Rhetorical Perspectivism. Quarterly Journal of Speech 69, 249-266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cherwitz R.A., Darwin T.J. (1994). Beyond reductionism in rhetorical theories of meaning. Philosophy and Rhetoric 27(4): 313-329Google Scholar
  9. Cherwitz R.A., Darwin T.J. (1995). Toward relational theory of meaning. Philosophy and Rhetoric 28(1): 17-29Google Scholar
  10. Cochran-Smith M., Lytle S. (1999). Teacher learning communities. Review of Research in Education 24, 24-32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cowan D. & Hord S.M. (1999). Reflections on school renewal and communities of continuous inquiry and improvement. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada, April. Dewey J. (1934). Art as experience. New York: Capricorn Books.Google Scholar
  12. Duignan P.A., Bhindi N. (1997). Authenticity in leadership: An emerging perspective. Journal of Educational Administration 35(3): 195-209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Duignan P.A., Macpherson R.J.S. (eds). (1992). Educative leadership: A practical theory for educational administrators and managers. London, FalmerGoogle Scholar
  14. Gouinlock J. (1992). Dewey’s theory of moral deliberation. In: Tiles J.E. (eds), John Dewey: Critical assessment. New York, Routledge, pp. 218-228Google Scholar
  15. Hikins J. (1999). The seductive waltz: Rhetoric and contemporary interpretations of Nietzsche. Quarterly Journal of Speech 85, 380-399Google Scholar
  16. Huffman J.B., Hipp K.A. (2001). Creating communities of learners: The interaction of shared leadership, shared vision, and supportive conditions. International Journal of Educational Reform 10(3): 272- 281Google Scholar
  17. Kofman F., Senge P.M. (1993, February). Communities of commitment: The heart of learning organization. Organization Dynamics, 5-23Google Scholar
  18. Kruse S.D. (2001). Creating communities of reform: Continuous improvement planning teams. Journal of Educational Administration 39(4): 359-383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Longino H. (1993). Subjects, power and knowledge: Description and prescription in feminist philosophies of science. In: Alcoff L., Potter E. (eds), Feminist epistemologies. New York, Routledge, pp. 101-120Google Scholar
  20. Louis K.S., Miles M. (1990). Improving the urban high school: What works and why. New York, Teachers College PressGoogle Scholar
  21. Marks H.M., Louis S.K. (1999). Teacher empowerment and the capacity for organizational learning. Educational Administration Quarterly 35(5): 707-750CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McLaughlin M., Talbert J. (2001). Professional communities and the work of high school teaching. Chicago, University of Chicago PressGoogle Scholar
  23. Mitchell C., Sackney L. (2000). Profound improvement: Building capacity for a learning community. Lisse, NL, Swets & ZeitlingerGoogle Scholar
  24. Nietzsche F. (1989). On the genealogy of morals. New York, Vintage BooksGoogle Scholar
  25. Osterman K.F. (1990). Reflective practice: A new agenda for education. Education and Urban Society 22(2): 133-152Google Scholar
  26. Palmer P.J. (1993). To know as we are known. San Francisco, Harper Collins PublishersGoogle Scholar
  27. Phillips D.C. (1995). The good, the bad, and the ugly: The many faces of constructivism. Educational Researcher 24(7): 5-12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Putnam R.T., Borko H. (1997). Teacher learning: implications of new views of cognition. In: Biddle B.J., Good T.L., Goodson I.F. (eds), The international handbook of teachers and teaching. Dordecht, NL, Kluwer, pp. 1223-1296Google Scholar
  29. Richardson L. (1994). Writing: A method of inquiry. In: Denzin N.K., Lincoln Y.S. (eds), Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, pp. 516-529Google Scholar
  30. Rizvi F. (1987). Multi-culturalism and educative leadership. In F. Rizvi (Ed.), Educative leadership in a multicultural community. Sydney, Australia: N.S.W. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  31. Scott R. (1967). On viewing rhetoric as epistemic. Central States Speech Journal 18, 9-16Google Scholar
  32. Scribner J.P., Cockrell K.S., Cockrell D.H., Valentine J.W. (1999). Creating professional communities in schools through organizational learning: An evaluation of a school improvement process. Educational Administration Quarterly 35(1): 130-160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Senge P.M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, DoubledayGoogle Scholar
  34. Taylor C. (1991). The ethics of authenticity. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University PressGoogle Scholar
  35. Tebes J.K. (2005). Community science, philosophy of science, and the practice of research. American Journal of Community Psychology 35(3- 4): 213-230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Willower D.J. (1994). Dewey’s theory of inquiry and reflective administration. Journal of Educational Administration 32(1): 5-22CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

Personalised recommendations