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Vestlandets forskerskole for pedagogikk- og utdanningsforskning (WNGER II)
WNGER II: PHD COURSE

Critical and Practice-Oriented Educational Research

Course instructors: Associate Professor Geert Thyssen, HVL.

Students discussing
Foto/ill.:
Universitetet i Bergen FLICKR, v/Emil W. Breistein

Hovedinnhold

This course is an elective part of the PhD course offer of the Western Norway Graduate School of Educational Research II (WNGER II). It is aimed at PhD candidates who wish to widen their knowledge of, and skills in, critical and practice-oriented educational epistemology and theory; methodology and methods of critical and practice-oriented educational research; and inquiry into various scholarly traditions around, and concepts of, ‘criticality’, ‘practice’-orientedness, and ‘education’ and ‘educational’ research.

‘Criticality’ has come to present itself as essential to most if not all endeavours of educational research and practice. Yet, how it can best be conceived, fostered, and materialised, remain questions that are but implicitly addressed, if at all, within most cases of educational research and practice. Likewise, a fascination with, and orientation towards, ‘practice’ is increasingly shaping the field of education and discipline of educational research through various influences, with rather different concepts of practice being used. All the while, ‘education’ and ‘education research’, for which criticality has come to be deemed indispensable and practice-orientedness at least conceivable, if not downright desirable, have never come to acquire universal features. Thus, among others, Germanic, Nordic, and Slavic traditions have helped body forth concepts of Bildung, danning, bildning, etc. which to some extent carry different meanings and values and come with specific implications, as do, for instance, Anglo-Saxon or continental European concepts of the disciplines of ‘pedagogy’, ‘didactics’, etc.

This course, then, is based on a principal openness to, yet also systematic inquisitiveness into, what ‘critical(ity)’, ‘practice-oriented(ness)’, and ‘education(al)’ might mean in any context of relevance to PhD candidates participating, from the more formal to the informal.

Among scholarly traditions, concepts and issues investigated will be those pertaining to critical theory (e.g. Foucault, Bourdieu, Crenshaw, Latour, Barad), critical pedagogy (e.g. Freire) and critical reflection (e.g. Schön); praxeology and action/practice/practitioner research (e.g. Hollenbach & Tillmann, Stringer, Siljander, Kivelä & Sutinen, Mahon et al.) including post-structuralist and -humanist approaches (e.g. Olsen, Taguchi as inspired by Deleuze_Guattari, Barad etc.), and educational theory (e.g. Biesta, and related to danning, Bildung and similar notions: Hörner, Drinck & Jobst, Gustavsson, Krüger, Ødegaard).