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Providing a Space to Enable Alteration in Educational Research

Abstract

Ramaekers provides a strong argument to go beyond a ‘what works’ approach, pointing out that for educational research to be truly educational, a more engaged commitment to truth is essential. In this piece, I explore how we might conceive the truth of educational research in relation to our agreement in judgements, and thus, the implications of this work in helping transform our sense of responsiveness and responsibility as writers and readers of educational research. Elaborating on the conceptualisation of truth in terms of agreement in judgements, it is argued that educational research is constitutive rather than descriptive. Educational research redefined along these lines does not appear as a representation of reality, but as a cultural moment. Its task is to actively endow reality with meaning, stimulating its reader to become engaged in a discussion of what is worth pursuing, instigated by what the researcher provides. As such, educational research contributes to the permanent adaptation and transformation of our culture to the new demands of the present.

Keywords

  • Educational research
  • Agreement in judgements
  • Reader response
  • Imagination
  • Practical judgement

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Ramaekers uses this account as an example to illustrate the Wittgensteinian account of truth as being a matter of agreement in judgements.

  2. 2.

    I draw here on the work of Hayden White (e.g. 1988), who develops these thoughts in the context of Historiography.

  3. 3.

    As respectively conceptualised by Wittgenstein, Cavell and Gaita.

  4. 4.

    I am drawing here on the work of Roland Barthes (1981).

  5. 5.

    I draw on the work of Stanley Fish (1980) here, who elaborates on the grounds of interpretive acceptability.

  6. 6.

    I would like to thank Paul Smeyers and Nancy Vansieleghem for their critical reading and useful comments.

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Mus, S. (2014). Providing a Space to Enable Alteration in Educational Research. In: Reid, A., Hart, E., Peters, M. (eds) A Companion to Research in Education. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6809-3_8

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