Mapping the discipline History of education
In the context of the growth, complexification and internationalization of higher education and research, it had seemed to be fruitful to map the history of education in Europe since the early nineties. Our goal is to create a current and retrospective assessment of the discipline’s institutional grounding and of the knowledge produced by its practitioners, stretching across national and cultural borders. Ultimately, the program will help to increase interactions among scholars and facilitate the creation of collaborative research agendas, thereby augmenting the standing and visibility of the discipline. It aims to describe the recent evolution of History of Education in order to make it more visible and, in knowing it and in reflecting on it, to reinforce its foundation and legitimacy. It may also serve as reference for prospective planning and for establishing a research agenda. This mapping will focus on the emblematic traits that characterize any discipline: its institutional foundation (Institutes, departments, posts), communication networks (associations, scientific events, means for publication), the structures of socialization and education of the new generation (curriculum, diploma, doctoral theses) and the ongoing renewing of knowledge produced by the discipline (research, epistemological foundation, research methods). Transcending internal debates and defying boundaries of all types, our research program seeks to further the self-reflexive study of the discipline through the creation of collectively built databases. Via a shared virtual platform, such databases will provide common access to a catalogue of researchers and institutions, media outlets and studies on the history of education, irrespective of their institutional and geographic moorings. Collective discussion of the data and analyses produced will contribute to create synergies between historians of education in order to elaborate a common research agenda and to reinforce the base of the discipline.
The concept is detailed in: Avec Rita HOFSTETTER, Emmanuelle PICARD, Alexandre FONTAINE, Solenn HUITRIC, « Mapping the discipline history of education», Paedagogica Historica. International Journal of the History of Education, 50/6, 2014, p. 871-880.