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Éva Szakos Feketéné: The Delphi Technique and its Applications in the Science of Education

This study presents different variants of the recently world-wide, considerable applied but in Hungary hardly known Delphi research technique (classical/prognostic, policy/policy-developing and decision Delphi) and their history, with reviewing some well-known international Delphi projects as examples of pedagogically relevant applications. Originally Delphi meant the organisation of rounds of written discussions among experts about the solution of a complex problem (e.g. in forecasting) and tried to generate consensus. Lately Delphi is considered as a tool for promoting communications and charting the variety (diversity) of approaches. As the theoretical foundation of the Delphi technique in the literature is not coherent enough and does not explain its quick spreading in our days, the author suggests putting the methodology of the Delphi technique on a new theoretical basis, namely radical constructivism. The radical constructivistic epistemology, which has been recently emerging in many disciplines, is an umbrella-theory, and is compatible with the communicative paradigm and also with postmodernism. Especially the „policy-developing” Delphi can be considered as a real „constructivistic” technique, as it charts the variety of personal but also scientifically founded „constructs” of the experts. Because of the participating policy makers, results of a Delphi project may have an influence on the policy of education as well. Futhermore, the application of the Delphi technique has an urgent relevancy also in Hungarian education in our present, pluralistic times, full of changes, unsolved problems and new challenges.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 98. Number 4. 363-376. (1998)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Feketéné Szakos Éva, H–1118 Budapest, Ratkóc u. 9.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia