European Conference on Educational Research

Photo © : Tim Hall
Photo © : Tim Hall

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

11 - 15 September 2006, Geneva, Switzerland
Université du Mail

Project details

Knowledge in its various forms - expert knowledge, knowing what to teach and how, scholarly knowledge, embodied cognition, professional and craft practices - is a central concern for educational research, both from a practical and a theoretical viewpoint. Beyond the field of education, it is a key matter for the so-called "knowledge society," linked to social and political issues of regulation and control, and to economic production processes. Knowledge is also at the heart of social exchanges, confrontations, collaborations and negotiations.  From this dynamic emerge the converging interests and meanings that can contribute to the reinforcement of a specifically European culture.

From one context to another, from one period to the next, across individuals, knowledge is constantly being shaped, re-shaped and transformed according to different disciplinary structures, different rhythms or settings. In the domain of education, forms of knowledge are produced and selected to serve multiple goals; through new combinations, they become part of new contexts of meaning. The shapes which knowledge takes on make it more or less easily accessible.  Because knowledge is shaped in different ways depending on situational affordances and constraints, learners engage (or, in too many cases, fail to engage) in different processes of knowledge appropriation in relation to their interests, levels of expertise and social, cultural and/or gender identities. The educational settings in which the processes of knowledge transformation occur are diverse as well: formal and informal, individual and collective, at school and in the workplace, face-to-face interaction and distance learning. The orientations of knowledge transformation also show diversity, depending on the goals to be attained and the institutional references: academic knowledge or contextualized competencies; basic education, vocational and professional training, continuing education.

Although knowledge construction and its transformation are at the core of action and reflection in the domain of education, we still fail to understand many aspects of these processes. Research in this area needs to be reinforced and stimulated. The challenge for the ECER 2006 Geneva conference will be to explore collectively this question, which is relevant to all areas of educational research, with the aim of creating synergies that should, in turn, re-shape our knowledge about knowledge transformation. 

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