Thursday, 24 August, 15:30 - 17:00
Location: K1.02 Auditorium 2
Speakers: Barbara Schneider; Theo Wubbels; J.B. Krejsler; Tracey Burns
Chairs: Mustafa Yunus Eryaman; Barbara Schneider
When the developed and emerging economies went into their global economic downturn from the beginning of the 1990s onwards, many governmental policies on the education sciences centered on their inappropriateness for the requirements of today’s and future international labor markets. Education and the social sciences have either undergone or are under pressure to adopt policies based on neoliberal economic indicators such as efficiency, standardization, testing, and accountability. Some of the changes educational institutions face today include the closing of teacher education programs at higher education institutions, proliferation of test-based evaluation, standardization of curriculum and assessment, the unidirectional push for the marketization of educational programs, and budget cuts for the funding of education and social science research. Arguably, the social and education sciences have never been under greater pressure than today.
In March 2014, together with 4 social sciences and humanities (SSH) associations - European Educational Research Association (EERA) sent a letter to the EU Commissioner to indicate their concern with the low budget for SSH in the Horizon 2020 Work Program (Letter from SSH scientific community to the Commissioner, 2014). In another statement, the executive committee of the EERA (2014) criticized European policymakers for not mentioning SSH or educational research as challenges in the Europe 2010 document and in the draft Horizon 2020.
Even though research institutions and policy circles are losing ground against a discourse that considers education a commodity, there is a growing interest among educational NGOs and research circles in understanding and reframing education and educational research as public good that signifies a common commitment to social justice and democratic equality and “involves complex moral and political judgments regarding what constitutes the good for the polity as a whole” (Nixon, 2011; p. x). For example, in its mission statement, American Educational Research Association identifies the promotion of the use of research to serve the public good as the fundamental responsibility of the association. In order to accomplish this task, AERA provides “scientific evidence on the benefits of diversity and affirmative action in legal briefs submitted to the Supreme Court; hold(s) Capitol Hill briefings on research issues of importance to the public and policymakers; and issu(es) research-based positions on educational issues of public concern” (AERA, 2016). British Educational Research Association (BERA, 2016) is another NGO “committed to working for the public good by sustaining a strong and high quality educational research community, dedicated to advancing knowledge of education.” The lobbying effort of the European Educational Research Association to influence the policymakers in the European Commission in order to make educational and social science research more visible in the Horizon 2020 Work Program is another important example of serving the public good.
One of the key concerns of these educational research organizations today, is that the quality and relevance of educational research helps to build scientific evidence to improve education practice and serves the public good. The demands about the quality and relevance of educational research to inform the policy and practice have been growing over the past decade in response to the Evidence-Based Education movement; however the literature is yet to tackle the question of the interrelationships between evidence, policy and practice for the public good in an international context.
The purpose of this session is to discuss how the diverse discourses on evidence inform/transform/deconstruct the interrelationships between educational research, policy and practice for the public good in a Glocal context.