ESREA: CFP The Bashing of Educational Research


Call for Papers
The Bashing of Educational Research
Confero: Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics                               

For this special issue on the Bashing of Educational Research, we welcome contributions from scholars with various disciplinary backgrounds to debate contemporary and historical issues in relation to (contemporary public critique of) education, educational research, knowledge production, pedagogy, didactic, philosophy and politics.

Educational research is a discipline that is expected to offer solutions to all problems associated with schooling. In Sweden, for example, education should, according to the Education Act (2010:800 5 §), be founded on a scientific basis and proven experience. As such, the alleged “school crises” (for example, students not performing as desired in international tests and comparisons, or the complaint that education is failing to solve contemporary societal problems etc.) have in turned raised questions about the relevance and value of the field of education. As evidence, reference is often made to the fact that educational research (again, allegedly) fails to produce usable knowledge on the “best ways to teach” or, for that matter, on any issues of practical importance to teachers and students.

Further, the research field is also accused, in the media as well as by other scientific disciplines, of distorting “real knowledge” and “real facts” in favor of schooling programs oriented around ‘political equality’, which puts certain methodsahead of knowledge. Consequently, researchers in education are described as uninterested in studying how schools and education should be organized on a scientifically proven basis, and precisely because of this, scholars in pedagogy are also described as the ones poorest equipped to provide the education of teachers. At times, the field of education science is even accused of being harmful for education in practice.

Recently, it has also been debated that, despite huge investments and many reform programs, the reason behind the school system being so unsuccessful is the fact that the field of education is consistently unscientific and biased. Thus, education and schools are described as being of too great importance to be left in the hands of researchers in the field of education.

The Bashing of Educational Research can be seen as a new paradigm of ideology of education. Or is it new? If not, why is the debate intensifying again at this point in history? Are there corresponding debates across different countries? And what sort of effects do these debates produce?

This special issue of Confero encourages contributions that approach and analyse contemporary and historical criticism of educational research. Topics suitable for this special issue could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • School in crisis: has educational research run out of steam?
  • Educational research as an ideological-educational struggle
  • Pedagogues as dangerous anti-intellectual ideologists
  • Schools and the revolutionary potential of technological development
  • Education as an instance of the middle-class habitus
  • Are educational researchers uninterested in interactions with teachers?
  • The origin and idea of the Swedish ‘Flumskola’
  • Educational research as muddled practices
  • Education as a political battlefield
  • Reformed or revolutionary education
  • Education as fair game or foul play
  • Educational research as the whipping boy of science?
  • What is measured in the critique of education and why?
  • The future for the field of education: adjust or die?
  • The public surveillance of education
  • The genealogy of public educational debates
  • Pedagogy vs cognitive science
  • The quantitative-qualitative debate, mixed methods and its implications for educational science
  • Pedagogy and values (social, economic, ethical, juridical, environmental, moral, instrumental etc.)
  • Education and the corporate leviathans
  • Queering educational criticism
  • Designing public school critique
  • Definitions, practices and consequences of pedagogy
  • In defence of pedagogy/should pedagogy be defended?
  • Educational critique as subversive power
  • The gendered criticism of pedagogy: against a feminization of education?
  • The geopolitics of educational criticism
  • Mediated criticism – affordances of digital media in debates of education

Notes for Contributors

Confero is a new interdisciplinary journal focusing on issues related to education and social criticism. The journal provides a space for essayistic writing and especially encourages discussions of philosophical and political nature. Conferowelcomes articles/essays that are not only stringent and systematic, but also beautiful, esoteric and profound.

We encourage authors to use the Oxford referencing system. To give the essay form and improve its readability, we ask that the essay has a clearly defined topic or theme that is laid out in the introduction of the piece. We also encourage the writer to divide the text into sections, using headings to promote its readability. Authors are encouraged to refrain from self-references. The text should be proofread before submission. The journal applies double-blind peer review. Authors will also be invited to review papers for this special issue.

The editorial group can be reached at A first abstract of the essay should be submitted to before April 1, 2018. The subject line of the submission should read “Submission for SI on the Bashing of Pedagogy”.

For further information and instructions, please visit our homepage: