Educational Research: Discourses of Change and Changes of Discourse

  • Paul Smeyers
  • Marc Depaepe

Part of the Educational Research book series (EDRE, volume 9)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Paul Smeyers, Marc Depaepe
    Pages 1-8
  3. Richard Smith
    Pages 17-27
  4. Ian Munday
    Pages 57-69
  5. Karen François, Kathleen Coessens, Jean Paul Van Bendegem
    Pages 87-100
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 223-227

About this book


This collection addresses concepts and theories of change, contexts and functions of reform discourses, and fields of change in educational research. It examines a wide variety of issues such as girls’ education in France, educational neuroscience, the professionalization in Child Protection, and mathematics discourses. It pays attention to the pervasiveness of crisis rhetoric in American Education Research, to the current university climate, and to perspectives for teacher education. The volume presents in-depth studies that integrate the perspective of history and philosophy of education.

Educational research has been typically carried out within a discourse of change: changing educational practice, changing policy, or changing the world. Sometimes these expectations have been grand, as in claims of emancipation; sometimes they have been more modest, as in research as a support for specific reforms. This book explores the answers to such questions as: Are these expectations justified? How have these discourses of change themselves changed over time? What have researchers meant by change, and related concepts such as reform, improvement, innovation, progress and the new? Does this teleological and hopeful discourse itself reflect a particular historical and national/cultural point of view? Is it over promising for educational research to claim to solve social problems, and are these properly understood as educational problems? In doing so, it challenges prevailing ideas about the application of philosophy and history of education, and demonstrates the relevance of philosophical and historical approaches for the practice and theory of education and for educational research.

This publication, as well as the ones that are mentioned in the preliminary pages of this work, were realized by the Research Community (FWO Vlaanderen / Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium) Philosophy and History of the Discipline of Education: Faces and Spaces of Educational Research.


Mathematics discourses Educational research Educational reforms Concepts and theories of change Reform discourses History and philosophy of education Changing educational practice Changing educational policy Educational research and social problems Application of philosophy and history of education Practice and theory of education Concept of the new

Editors and affiliations

  • Paul Smeyers
    • 1
  • Marc Depaepe
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Educational ScGhent University and Katholieke UniversiWestmeerbeekBelgium
  2. 2.Subfaculteit Psychologie en PedagogischeKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenKortrijkBelgium

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-30455-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-30456-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site