Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Educational Researcher 34:6 (August/September 2005), pp. 16-21; doi: 10.3102/0013189X034006016


Published by SAGE Publications on behalf of American Educational Research Association. Used by permission.


The question of what counts as good education research has received a great deal of attention, but too often it is conceived principally as a methodological question rather than an ethical one. Good education research is a matter not only of sound procedures but also of beneficial aims and results; our ultimate aim as researchers and educators is to serve people’s well‐being. For their research to be deemed good in a strong sense, education researchers must be able to articulate some sound connection between their work and a robust and justifiable conception of human well‐being. There is a good deal of history and convention against such a conception of researchers’ work. We need to consider the conditions needed if that conception is to be realized. Among the conditions is a concerted and cooperative endeavor for moral education among researchers and the people with whom they work—a context where questions of well‐being are foregrounded, welcomed, and vigorously debated.