Knowledge, the Future, and Education(al) Research: A New-Millennial Challenge.
Australian Educational Researcher, 37(4), 43-62. , 2010
Education “is” changing, as is knowledge more generally, to a significant degree energised by what has been described as the digital revolution. This has been widely discussed with references to notions such as globalisation, the New Media Age, open access, and the Network Society. Something definitely to be considered is what this could mean for the future of Education itself, as a distinctive disciplinary field–a “research” field. What is its distinctive knowledge project? How to think about its own knowledge-generating practice, something that is all the more complicated given that working with knowledge is at the very heart of the educational endeavour. It is appropriate at this point, too, to look to the larger history of the field, bearing in mind that it is essentially a twentieth-century phenomenon, at least in terms of its consolidation and formalisation. That history might be characterised overall as the becoming-science of Education, with a close relationship forged with Psychology and a growing focus on measurement, consistent with its epistemological and methodological location within the new disciplinary formation of the social sciences. Even now, a decade into a new century, and indeed a new Millennium, the will to science is powerful and persistent. How educational theory and practice responds to the digital challenge can be linked in interesting ways to the imagining of new and different alliances and trajectories. In this article, the author endeavours to open up the question of knowledge for renewed scrutiny and debate. This is partly in specific response to recent work in educational sociology seeking to develop a new understanding of the nature and role of knowledge in education and society.