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Experts or Algorithms in the Framing of Curriculum Research
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
Faculty of Education and Natural Sciences, Høgskolen i Hedmark.
Department of Education, Uppsala university, Uppsala, Sweden.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Mapping research in relation to research interest is a common act of performing a research review. This kind of activity is an important part of being a researcher. The act of showing belongingness and relationship to different paradigms and thinkers (Kuhn, 1962) or various epistemic cultures (KnorrVCetina, 1991) has over time been given different forms within the community of research. In relation to the act of framing research by different strategies we raise questions on: who inhabits and cultivates the field of curriculum research according to different strategies for framing?

In particular, we are interested in the potential movement of research reviews from an act of collective ‘intellectualizing’ among ‘experts’ to an act of ‘technologizing’ dependent on algorithms and terminology embedded in various databases, in which the amount of data is more important in ‘evidenceVmaking’ than the perceived expertise of the source. To put it differently, the databases with their vast aggregation of data, organized by algorithms and terminology, are perceived as the authority and not the authors or the epistemic cultures in which the authors are embedded. Focusing on three different forms of research reviews we describe, analyze and compare various forms of reviews with regards to:

  • how knowledge of a research field is constructed,
  • what kind of research that is selected and privileged,
  • the production of different pictures of a research field.

In our study we use the field of curriculum research to elaborate on the different forms of research reviews and their consequences for knowledge produced. Within the field of curriculum research, handbooks have had a dominant position in describing the field. Also, explicit research reviews within different journals have been important among researchers in the framing of the field of curriculum. However, in the contemporary, bibliometric analyses grounded in database searches are more and more employed.

Dependent on which strategies used by researchers for framing different research fields we especially hypothesize on the importance of epistemic cultures and how these epistemic cultures historically have transported research, and how this is transformed, or even disappeared, with the entrance of various databases. We chose the collaborative act of ‘experts’ producing handbooks and research reviews within field specific journals as two modern examples of ‘intellectualizing’ dependent on that some researchers are given, or have taken, the role of ‘experts’. In contrast, we perform bibliometric searches, for reason of illuminating variances, by using Web of Science and Scopus as examples of ‘technologizing’, where databases more than individual researchers or research groups have transformed into the epistemic culture per se. We are as such in a position to elaborate on how the field of curriculum research is portrayed by using different strategies for framing a specific research field. This is most important for understanding how the field of curriculum theory today is reproduced in various research settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25198OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-25198DiVA: diva2:1140037
Conference
The 45th Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA), 23-25 March 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark
Available from: 2017-09-11 Created: 2017-09-11 Last updated: 2017-09-12Bibliographically approved

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