ERG SES E 13 WS, Workshop: Positioning Contemporary Educational Research: Political, ethical and epistemological issues
The aim of the workshop is to open the space for a critical discussion on the role of educational research in the contemporary field of knowledge production on education, education policy and educational practice. Recalling directly the ECER 2019 general theme, the workshop intends to generate a collective and open reflection on what future for educational research should we struggle for among the possible futures that lie ahead of us, with a specific reference to the configuration of the field we inhabit, the publics we talk to, the politics of knowledge we practice and the effects of our agency as an educational research community.
To reach the above-mentioned objectives, the workshop will be organized in three sections.
First, recalling the experience and the debates developed in the last 7 years in the NW28 Sociologies of Education, the speakers will briefly set the scene for the discussion, suggesting that we could sketch our present as educational researchers as increasingly colonized by a epistemic framework that assembles an evidence-based epistemology, a ‘what works’ political rationality and a technocratic model of educational research. At the same time, we must be aware that the hegemonic ambitions of such a framework confront with a lively and multifaceted research field, with its multiple hierarchies of antagonistic knowledges, its division into disciplinary sub-fields, diverse configurations and individual and collective positioning. This epistemological struggle ‘in the plurality’ makes possible different positioning for educational researchers in the field of knowledge production. Using sociology as an exemplary sub-field, the presenters will employ Burawoy’s work on public sociology as a general frame to outline a matrix of four different possible positioning for educational researchers (professional, policy, critical and public research) and will discuss each in relation to social, political, ethical and epistemological issues.
Second, participants will be asked to reflect in group work on the practice as researchers and their current research projects, positioning themselves in the present and for the future across the matrix and in relation to social, political, ethical and epistemological issues.
Third, groups will be asked to present their reflections in a final debate session.
The aim of the workshop is to offer a map of the field that could act as exchange platform for a discussion on the above mentioned topics among participants that extends also beyond the workshop itself. It stands also as an invitation to participate to the NW28 activities, that since its foundation in 2012 has the ambition to represent a space of reflection on the productive nexus between sociological theory, social epistemology, research politics and practice in the field of education.
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