Ramon Flecha

Ramon Flecha is Doctor Honoris Causa of the West University of Timişoara and Professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona. The main conclusion of the first project he led from the European Union’s Framework Program (FP5), WORKALÓ, The creation of new occupational patterns for cultural minorities: The gypsy case was unanimously approved by the European Parliament giving rise to various European and Member States policies. The second project he directed (FP6), INCLUD-ED. Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion from education in Europe, was the only one from the Social Sciences and Humanities included in the list that the European Commission published with 10 successful scientific investigations. The last project he directed was IMPACT-EV: Evaluating the impact and outcomes of European SSH Research (FP7), which has developed the new criteria for selection, monitoring and evaluation of the different impacts of scientific research.

Ramon Flecha has been the Chair of the Expert Group on Evaluation Methodologies for the Interim and Ex Post Evaluations of Horizon 2020, DG Research and Innovation (European Commission), composed of 17 members of all scientific disciplines. His scientific works have been published in scientific journals such as Nature, PLOS ONE, Cambridge Journal of Education, Harvard Educational Review, Organization, Qualitative Inquiry, Current Sociology, or Journal of Mixed Methods Research. His article published in the Cambridge Journal of Education received the Best Paper Prize 2013 being, in turn, the most read article of the history of the magazine.

How Dialogic Educational Research Reconnects Communities

Dialogic educational research has co-led three main transformations of the current requirements for research in all sciences. The first one is co-creation, the creation of new scientific knowledge and intellectual insights through egalitarian dialogue between researchers and citizens. The second is the idea that the local communities are increasingly diverse in all dimensions and the egalitarian dialogue can only reconnect communities taking into account all voices. The third one is that educational research should be oriented towards improving the lives of all citizens, in other words, towards the dialogic social impact. 

The current raising of anti-intellectualism is threatening the continuity of the resources to social sciences and humanities research and even to scientific research as a whole. One requirement to overcome this threat is to transform the present intellectualism maintaining their best dimensions and eliminating their anti-democratic elements. There is already a large number of research groups doing this task and succeeding in increasing the resources for European scientific programmes and the SSH within it. One element to eliminate is the elitism, the self-assessment of some researchers as being more intelligent than practitioners, students, relatives, and other members of the communities. As Paulo Freire said already in the 60s the dialogue among persons with different knowledges promotes a better learning than the hierarchic consideration that some of them know and the others do not know.

In order to be successful in reconnecting communities, researchers should be coherent with the values, emotions and sentiments they proclaim to be promoted. There was a time in which many educational researchers were followers of authors like Althusser, who killed his wife, and at the same time they claimed to educate against gender violence. Still today, there are some educational researchers who claim themselves to be non-sexist and at the same time, they attack the victims of gender violence in the universities and the persons supporting them. The anti-intellectualism generated by those people can be overcome by dialogic educational researchers who are working in dialogue with citizens and sharing their values, emotions and sentiments and acting in coherence with them.