03 SES 06 A, Can Educational Knowledge Be Powerful? Part 2
Symposium continued from 03 SES 04 A
There seems to be a growing consensus that the knowledge-base for teaching should be empirical. In addition to the rise of school effectiveness and teacher effectiveness research, teachers are themselves increasingly becoming involved in research, on the assumption that such research will make their teaching better and make them better teachers. Such research is mostly empirical in orientation: it tries out ‘interventions’ in order to see what the ‘impact’ on ‘learning outcomes’ is, and uses bits of theory – often from psychology – to interpret findings and adjust interventions, so that they can reach the targeted outcomes more effectively in the next round. The main problem with this development is that it amounts to a fundamental redefinition of teaching. It redefines the process of teaching by seeing it in terms of interventions and effects, rather than in terms of complex acts of communication. And it redefines the purposes of teaching in terms of the production of a small set of measurable outcomes or specific definitions of progress. The subsequent narrowing of the educational ‘offer’ has caught the attention of policy makers, who are increasingly becoming interested in students’ well-being and socio-emotional development. But these dimensions are predominantly couched in psychological terms as well, and are quickly becoming part of the same logic of effective intervention. In earlier work I have expressed concerns about the disappearance of discussions about the purposes of education (Biesta 2010a) and have indicated problems with the ‘what works’ logic (Biesta 2010b). In this contribution I wish to turn to the question what the knowledge-base of teaching should look like if it is not ‘filled’ with empirical knowledge. I wish to explore, in other words, what the alternative for the turn towards the empirical might be. I take my cue from a little anecdote in Winfred Böhm’s 2017 book on the educational ‘placebo’ effect, in which Confucius, when asked by a new emperor what his priorities should be, argues that the first priority should be that of ‘getting the concepts right.’ I discuss what this may entail for teaching, which concepts should be ‘in place,’ and where they might come from, making a case for educational concepts, rather than concepts emerging from other disciplines. I also (re)turn to Lawrence Stenhouse’s idea of ‘principles of procedure’ (Stenhouse 1975) which, as I will argue, still provides a different, much more educational outlook for teaching than what is currently available.
Biesta, G.J.J. (2010a). Good education in an age of measurement: Ethics, politics, democracy. Boulder, Co: Paradigm Publishers. Biesta, G.J.J. (2010b). Why ‘what works’ still won’t work. From evidence-based education to value-based education. Studies in Philosophy and Education 29(5), 491-503. Böhm, W. (2017). Die pädagogische Placebo-Effekt. Zur Wirksamkeit der Erziehung. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh. Stenhouse, L. (1975). An introduction to curriculum research and development. London: Heinemann.
Some networks have already started to plan their chairperson(s).
But at the moment chairpersons are only pencilled in, as we will still need to check for time conflicts between presentation and chairing duties. EERA office will work on this in due course and then officially let chairpersons know about their chairing duties.
Meanwhile, thank you for your patience.
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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