Sub-theme 2: Research on Education and Training: epistemological issues

Education is a major anthropological issue in our human societies and it justifies how often the question of the scientific legitimacy of researching education and training has been raised throughout its history.

- Recurrently, from one country to the other, research on education has been criticized for its lack of scientific rigor, evidence and cumulativity of its results. After decades of development, what about now? Has research on education and training developed a coherent theoretical corpus? Its own concepts? Unifying paradigms? Theories? Methodologies? Collecting tools susceptible to confirm the validity of its production? What is the relationship between the field of educational and training research with the ones it’s related to?

- Where are we today in terms of development of researches in disciplinary didactics? How did this “new field of research” (Reuter, 2010) develop itself in relation to established or academic discipline and educational research?

- How did this heterogeneous ensemble structure itself on the disciplinary level? Do we observe converging “disciplinarisation” logics between the different countries? How should we understand the different historical developments? How do different traditions and structural modes interact?

- What impact do invitations to work on an international and pluridisciplinary level based on an attempt to earn research grants have on the production? What is the effect on the theoretical, methodological corpus of the transnational aspects of the research on education and training and its actors compared to the other fields of scientific research?

- The question of the research policies, national as well as international, raises epistemological and political issues. How do the competitiveness challenge, the emphasis on scientific excellence work with the field and practices of educational and training research? Does the internationalization of the research, called for and reinforced by the current financing logics narrow the practice (by a control over the topics, the methodologies, the theoretical corpus, the results and the production of knowledge)? Or a source of theoretical, paradigmatic, methodological renewal…?

- What impacts do the current ways of research evaluation (ranking of the universities, journals, calculating the influence factor, etc.) on a national and international level have on the production? On the broadcasting of the knowledge of research?