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Education & Language | Educational Research: the Educationalization of Social Problems

Educational Research: the Educationalization of Social Problems

Series: Educational Research, Vol. 3

Smeyers, Paul

Depaepe, Marc (Ed.)

2008, VI, 247 p.

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  • Provocative and original as it brings together social problems, philosophy and history of education in a unique way
  • Demonstrates how philosophical and historical approaches are relevant for the practice and theory of education
  • Challenges prevailing ideas about the ‘application’ of philosophy and history of education
  • Combines the efforts of leading scholars in philosophy and history of education, involving 15 centres worldwide
  • Gives insight in the historical and philosophical complexities and constraints of ‘educationalization’ and takes the debate of these in the context of education and educational research a step further

Pushing ‘social’ responsibilities on schools is a process that has been underway for a long time. This phenomenon has been studied more in Europe than in North America and the U.K. and has been labelled Pädagogisierung. The editors have chosen to use ‘Educationalization’ to identify the overall orientation or trend toward thinking about education as the focal point for addressing or solving larger human problems. The term describes these phenomena as a sub-process of the ‘modernization’ of society, but it also has negative connotations, such as increased dependence, patronization, and pampering. In this book distinguished philosophers and historians of education focus on ‘educationalization’ to expand its meaning through an engagement with educational theory. Topics discussed are the family and the child, the ‘learning society’, citizenship education, widening participation in higher education, progressive education, and schooling movements such as No Child Left Behind.

‘Smeyers’ and Depaepe's book offers great insights into one of the most ambivalent phenomena of today's educational world and especially educational policy. The contributions assembled represent perspectives of some of the most respected scholars in the field. Their manifold critiques of the educationalization of social problems are rather convincing. Our time is definitely ripe for such analysis!’

Roland Reichenbach, Center for Educational Studies, University of Basel, Switzerland

‘This is a challenging, critical and analytical treatment of the tendency of contemporary
administrations to overburden educational institutions with the expectation that they
will provide the solutions to an increasingly diverse range of social and economic
problems.  It brings together the theoretical resources of a distinguished international
group of philosophers and historians of education and deserves the careful attention of
educational policy makers, practitioners and researchers alike.’

David Bridges, Von Hügel Institute, St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, England

This publication is realized by the Research Community (FWO-Vlaanderen / Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium) Philosophy and History of the Discipline of Education: Evaluation and Evolution of the Criteria for Educational Research. Also realized by the Research Community are Educational Research: Why ‘What Works’ Doesn’t Work (2006) and Educational Research: Networks and Technologies (2007).


Content Level » Research

Keywords » History of Education - education - educational research - educationalisation - no child left behind - padagogisierung - philosophy and history of the social sciences - philosophy of education - social policy (reform)

Related subjects » Education & Language - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Table of contents 

1. Introduction: Pushing Social Responsibilities - The Educationalization of Social Problems.- 2. About Pedagogization – From the Perspective of the History of Education.- 3. The Educationalization of the Modern World - Progress, Passion, and the Protestant Promise of Education.- 4. Educationalising Trends in Societies of Control: Assessments, Problem-Based Learning, and Empowerment.- 5. Educationalization in a USA Present: A Historicist Rendering.- 6. Cultural Capital as Educational Capital – the Need for a Reflection on the Educationalisation of Cultural Taste.- 7. The ‘Educationalisation’ of the Language of Progressivism Exploring the Nature of a True Alternative.- 8. Parenting and the Art of Being a Parent.- 9. The Educationalisation of Social Problems and the Educationalisation of Educational Research - the Example of Citizenship Education.- 10. Higher Education and Hyperreality.- 11. Education for the Knowledge Economy.- 12. The Social, Psychological and Education Sciences: From Educationalization to Pedagogicalization of the Family and the Child.- 13. ‘It Makes us Believe That it is About our Freedom’- Notes on the Irony of the Learning Apparatus.- 14. To Schools With the Poets: the Pädagogisierung of Philosophy.- 15. The Education Concept.- 16. Afterword.- Notes on Contributors.- Index.

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