In many European countries the historical and philosophical areas of research and education, i.e. the humanities as a whole, are under severe pressure to prove their relevance in the knowledge economy. Positions are either cut, or never opened. Educational research is asked to move in the direction of “what works” or “evidence based research” agendas. In this atmosphere the field of historical research in education is considered to be of negligible importance – or new demands on relevance are put forward in what can be considered a drift of epistemic criteria (Elzinga). It is not enough to do what you as a researcher find relevant – it is necessary to perform a political argumentation to prove this relevance in front of external bodies. In this situation opening an explicit discussion on the raison d’ętre of the history of education can be a first step in a productive dialogue between researchers and research politicians on the future politics of knowledge.
Secondly one should not forget the fruitfulness of international contacts and comparisons in any field. The more personal motivations driving research are sometimes highly inspiring for peers. The debate on relevance or reason of existence is also part of the self-understandings of researchers and the dynamics of individual research lives. The objective of this symposium is therefore to bring internal criteria of relevance to the fore, and combine them with external criteria of relevance to inspire and stimulate not only research but also research policy.
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)