23 SES 13 B, Research(-ers) and Policy Making
This year’s ECER theme is committed to the future role of education research and higher education in the background of reform processes, supranational agents and large scale studies and meta-analysis. Especially supranational agents such as the OECD and the EU have the potential to effect national policies in terms of their perception of research quality and research standards. In other words, transnational agents convey a specific perspective on educational research which can influence governance issues in educational policy and consequently implies a normative distinction between “good” and “poor” research, and how it should change to be “better” research for “improving” educational practice. It can put educational research under the pressure of expectations to design studies which are relevant and useful in political decision-making processes (see the slogan ‘Better Policies For Better Lives’; see also ‘PISA as a global mode of governance of education’: Sellar & Lingard 2014). Accordingly, ‘usefulness’ has become a standard of quality (Keiner, 2005) and therefore effects and regulates research processes and discourses by providing a point of reference. Furthermore, the OECD as an supranational actor also promote and improve international communication among educational researchers and govermental institutions (Lindblad, 2015). OECD Examiners’ Reports on Educational Research, its consequences and expactations have impact on the self-image of the participating nations of the EERA (Wolter, Keiner, Palobma & Lindblad, 2004).
This year’s ECER strives to uncover the ambivalent roles of policy and educational research in the light of constant changes and the reforming of education. According to the focus if this year’s conference, the paper aims at reconstructing the particular way of constructions of the symbolic relation of (national embedded) educational research and politics in current OECD/ CERI reports. The title of the paper “Constructions of Educational Research” is intended to have an ambiguous meaning. Firstly, the paper refers to the assumption that, according to the social constructivism of Berger & Luckmann (1966), a taken-for-granted reality is a social construction produced by objectifications in actors’ reciprocal interactions, institutionalised roles and interpretations. In this sense, knowledge is “the certainty that phenomena are real and that they possess specific characteristic” (p. 13). Secondly, and according to the research findings of Knorr-Cetina (1983), Mulkay (et al 1983), Latour and Woolgar (1979), research is a communicative practice and discursive negotiations which recreates and establishes the existence of phenomena. Nevertheless, constructions can change over time because topics and relevant social themes change, too (Hunter 2013). Therefore, we adopt a historical comparative perspective on the development of the construction of educational research.
So the research questions are:
- How do the OECD/ CERI as a supranational actor construct national embedded “educational research”?
- How do they describe and construct their own research and the symbolic relation to policy making processes?
- Do we find any changes in the concept of educational research over time?
According to the theoretical background the “sociology of knowledge approach to discourse” (Keller 2005) was conducted to examine OECD publications in order to explore how ‘education research’ is constructed in each document; moreover the analyses strived to uncover developments in the construction of the construct “educational research” within the publications and over the time span of 21 years (1995-2016). The theoretical and empirical interests of SKAD "range from social processes of knowledge production and circulation to symbolic structure and back to actors' orientations and practices in historical worlds of knowledge and
meaning" (Keller 2005) . It also reconstructs actors positions a pre-constituted by specific discourses. SKAD see actors as speakers in positions which "allowed them to speak". Furthermore, SKAD " takes into account the historical and collective dimensions of knowledge and knowledge-making practices. Thereby it opens up the field of sociology of knowledge to social regimes and politics of knowledge" (Keller 2005).
Berger, P. & Luckmann, T. (1966). The Social Construction of Reality. Penguin Books Charmaz, K. (2006): Constructing Grounded Theory. A Practical Guide through Qualitative Anaysis. SAGE Hunter, C.P. (2013): Shifting themes in OECD country reviews of higher education. In: Higher Education 66 (6): 707 – 723 Keiner, E. (2005). Zur Konstruktion erziehungswissenschaftlicher Forschung aus der Perspektive der OECD. Standards und Standardisierungen in der Erziehungswissenschaft. Beiheft Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft (4): 13-22. Knorr-Cetina, K. D. (1983). The Ethnographic Study of Scientific Work: Towards a constructivist interpretation of science. In: Mulkay, M. &. Knorr-Cetina, K.: Science Observed. Perspectives on the Social Study of . London u.a.: Sage . 115-140 Lindblad, S. (2015): On organizing educational research communication in Europe: Past experiences and possible futures. In: European Educational Research Journal, 14 (1). p. 30-34 Latour, B. & Woolgar, S. (1979), Laboratory Life. The Social Construction of Scientific Facts, Sage Mulkay, Michael, Potter, Jonathan, & Yearly, Steven (1983). Why an Analysis of Scientific Discourse is Needed. In: Knorr-Cetina, & Mulkay, Science observed. Perspectives on the Social Study of Science. Beverly Hills: Sage: 171-204. Sellar, S. & Lingard, B. (2014) The OECD and the Expansion of PISA: New Global Modes of Governance in Education In: British Educational Research Journal 40 (6). 917–936 Wolter, Keiner, Palobma & Lindblad (2004): OECD Examiners’ Report on Educational Research and Development in England. Roundtable. European Educational Research Journal, Volume 3, Number 2, pp. 510-526
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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