Knowledge of Education

Education Theory

An education theory represents universals in education and their relationships.


For example, Maccia and Maccia (1966) developed an education theory about schools. This theory consisted of 201 relationships (hypotheses), and includes numerous terms which are signs of universals such as education system, educational system filtration, efficiency, stress, vulnerability, storeput, etc. See natural language definitions of these terms on the SIGGS website.

Thompson has extended SIGGS in development of Axiomatic Theories of Intentional Systems (ATIS) and his further work on methodology of theory construction.

For an example of application of theory to make predictions, see:

Predicting Education System Outcomes: A Scientific Approach


The signs which comprise a theory must represent universals.

Signs of instantial knowing that, relational knowing that, and criterial knowing that about education constitute quantitative educology, but only if such signs represent universals in education, not bound by time and place. Therefore different names are given to signs of knowing that about universals in education: science, praxiology, and philosophy of education. These universals must be in the domain of education, which is defined as learning which is both intended and guided. See these diagrams.

On the other hand, signs of uniques in education constitute qualitative educology. These signs cannot constitute theory because their objects are not universals. Unique individuals and events in education are bound by time and place. Signs of recognitive knowing that one, acquaintive knowing that one, and appreciative knowing that one in education comprise qualitative educology.

Likewise, signs of knowing how to do education are not universals, because such doings are bound by time and place. Performative educology consists of signs of knowing how to do education.

When does theoretical knowing of education become Knowledge of Education? Theories must be evaluated by criteria before they can become quantitative educology. Criteria are also needed for determining when knowing that one in education (for right opinion) qualify for qualitative educology, and knowing how to do education (e.g., for effectiveness) qualify for performative educology.