23 SES 03 E, Research Policies and the Politics of Research (Part 2)
Paper Session: continued from 23 SES 02 E, to be continued in 23 SES 04 E
The Third Mission of Adult Education?
Research and teaching have traditionally been the key missions of European universities. Recently, under the lifelong learning policies led by the European Commission, a third mission has come into effect. This third mission aims to reassert the involvement of universities with society. Each discipline are held responsible for the implementation of this mission on their part. The research group asks what does this mean on local, regional, national and supranational level in the context of adult education and especially in the context of adult education research, its scientific paradigm and academic identity. The group takes a critical stance toward the programmatic third mission, i.e. its new impact-oriented “social service mission” with its evidence-informed policy. Who defines the mission, what does it entail and how is it implemented in adult education? (cf. ALPINE 2009.) Or on the other hand has anything changed? As a matter of fact was the discipline born on the basis of this mission across Europe? The Finnish case will be contextualized with developments in European higher education and research areas.
The common themes of the research group are disciplination, research-policy-practice relations, effectiveness of research, and actor networks and cooperation practices in adult education. Researchers question the standard interpretations on formation of adult education as a field of study, according to which there was a logical progress from practice to conceptualization of practice to theory and metatheory. (e.g. Finger 2001.) Theoretical approach builds on Latour´s (1994) and Narotzky´s (2007) interpretation on emergence of research fields with their distinctive concepts as political programmes. The historicizing and power-critical framework owes to the ideas of genealogy (Foucault 1980a, b, c.) and actor-networks (Latour 2005). The analytical work joins practitioners and policy-makers to research-process: part of the theoretical aim is to explore and test research methodology, which would provide joint self-critical reflection of adult education discipline. (Vähämäki 2010.) The challenge is getting across both the knowledge embedded in local and regional practices and theoretical knowledge, and recognizing their differencies and oppositions. The approach reminds also action research where researchers together with other actors deconstruct and make visible meanings embedded in documents, programmes, practices and experiences which are related to to missions, methods and agency in adult education. (Kemmis & Wilkinson 1998.)
ALPINE 2009. Adult Learning Professionals in Europe. A study of the current situation, trends and issues. University of Leiden: PLATO.
Finger, M. & Asun, J. M. 2001. Adult education at the cross-roads: Learning our way out. London & New York: Zed Books.
Foucault, Michel 1980a. The Order of Things. An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. Bristol: Tavistock Publications, Bristol 1980. (Les mots et les choses: Une archéologie des sciences humaines, 1966.)
Foucault, Michel 1980b. Truth and Power. In Colin Gordon (ed.), Power/Knowledge. Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 by Michel Foucault. The Harvester Press, Suffolk 1980, pp. 109-131.
Foucault, Michel 1980c. Powers and Strategies. In Colin Gordon (ed.), Power/Knowledge. Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 by Michel Foucault. Suffolk: The Harvester Press, Suffolk 1980, pp. 134-145.
Foucault, Michel 1980d. Tarkkailla ja rangaista. Suom. Eevi Nivanka. Otava, Helsinki 1980. (Surveiller et punir. Naissance de la prison, 1975.)
Foucault, Michel 1982a. The Archaeology of Knowledge. Tavistock Publications, London 1982. (L'archéologie du savoir, 1969.)
Foucault, Michel 1982b. The Archaeology of Knowledge and The Discourse on Language. Pantheon Books, New York 1982.
Heikkinen, A. 2012. Manufacturing a Discipline: the Case of Finnish Vocational Education. In Kivirauma, J. & Jauhiainen, A., Seppänen, P., Kaunisto, T. (eds.) Social Perspectives on Education. University of Turku.
Heikkinen, A. & Teräsahde, S. 2011. Aikuiskasvatus on tutkimisen ja asiantuntemuksen arvoinen. AITURI-hankkeen loppuraportti. Tampere: Tampereen yliopiston kasvatustieteiden yksikkö. Saatavilla
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