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Educational Research: Material Culture and Its Representation

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Paul Smeyers
8, Educational Research
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This collection discusses and illustrates how educational research is affected by the economic, institutional and physical contingencies of its time, and in our time even increasingly is driven by them. It is argued that the antidote to this is, however, not to aspire to ‘thought itself’, but instead to do justice to its own rootedness in the ‘material’, including textuality. From an historical point of view such an innovative approach can itself revamp the material scholarly culture and the way it is represented. The chapters address a variety of topics such as the cultural heritage of the school desk, the significance of images for research into long-term educational processes, the way iconic signs function, and how modes of enquiry relate to the materiality of education. Attention is also given to standards for reporting on educational research studies and how these limit the scope and communication and moreover shape researchers, to the forms of citation practices as substantially influencing methods and content, and to the centrality of conversation not just as the means to an end but as what matters; further to representational and to non-representational theories for educational research. Some examples are drawn from the area of arts-based educational research, from mathematics education, and from the discourse on universities.

1. On the tangible material culture of child-rearing, education, and educational research.- Paul Smeyers & Marc Depaepe.- 2. Valorising the cultural heritage of the school desk through historical research; Marc Depaepe, Frank Simon & Pieter Verstraete.- 3. Mirrors of reality? Material culture and the significance of images for research into long-term educational processes; Jeroen J.H. Dekker.- 4. Visual, literary and numerical perspectives on education: materiality, presence and interpretation; Karin Priem.- 5. Education and the ‘new totalitarianism’: How standards for reporting on empirical studies of education limit the scope of academic research and communication; Sophie Ward.- 6. Materials that shape researchers; Naomi Hodgson.- 7. The Tractarian template in the representation of educational research: Can we ever depart from the picture of logical empiricism?; Paul Smeyers.- 8. The ethics of materiality: Some insights from non-representational theory for educational research; Lynn Fendler.- 9. Mud and hair: an essay on the conditions of educational research; Richard Smith.- 10. Material and aesthetic tensions within arts-based educational research: Drawing woodpaths; Maureen K. Michael & Ian Munday.- 11. Olympification versus aesthetization: The appeal of mathematics outside the classroom; Kathleen Coessens, Karen François & Jean Paul Van Bendegem.- 12. Signs of the times: Iconography of a new education; Paul Standish.- 13. The paradigmatic differences between name/date and footnote styles of citation; Nick Burbules.- 14. Conversation – in the construction and representation of research; David Bridges.- 15. About the Authors.- Author Index – Subject Index.


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