In the current landscape of research, research policies, and general policies emphasizing education as the solution to broad societal problems, the educational sciences are challenged to work across as well as to redefine their boundaries. The general call for interdisciplinary research and for working closer with users and stakeholders contribute to challenge established notions of the types of research and contributions we can offer to science and to society at large. At the same time, the increased interests from other disciplines in the educational sector as an empirical field generate a need to make boundaries and distinctions visible. This calls for a rethinking of what the educational sciences now include and how they are characterized.
Added to this comes the need to bridge gaps between different realms of knowledge inherent to the educational sciences. The field of education has always been interdisciplinary in nature, and the productive interplay between strands like educational sociology, curriculum studies and learning research has been a hallmark of the field. However, the increased specialization we see in these areas creates a need for reintegration. Moreover, research that crosses these boundaries is more often considered essential for solving complex educational problems. We see this in areas as different as in discussions of supporting learners’ participation and achievements throughout their educational trajectory, in discussions of what role education can play in contexts of migration and refugee crises, and in questions of how expert knowledge is organized and used in contemporary society.
The conference will explore how boundaries between knowledge fields and actors are challenged and how new boundaries are constructed in educational sciences today.
Key questions to be addressed include:
- How are boundaries transcended and (re)defined in the educational sciences?
- How is the traditional organization of the educational sciences challenged in the wake of interdisciplinary research and user involvement?
- What opportunities and challenges lie in disciplinary demarcations, when it comes to balancing productive exchange across boundaries?
- Professor Wolff-Michael Roth
- Professor Karen Mundy
- Professor Monika Baeroe Nerland