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Wednesday 30 August 2017: Theorising research into education

This event looks at the theorising technology and education. The choice of topic reflects an awareness of the challenges facing researchers in our field. These challenges include:

  • Addressing a general concern that the use of technology (and for that matter research into education in general) is under-theorised: How can we best argue for the importance of the theory and make clear its contribution to understanding our field? How can we communicate that value to users of research?
  • Identifying theorising as a distinctive step in the research process: What do researchers do when they are theorising? Can approaches really be characterised as inductive or deductive? What kind of knowledge do researcher think they are producing?
  • Identifying shifts in the use of theoretical frameworks. We know that frameworks such as actor network theory, activity theory, and community of practice come in and out of fashion. Why does one theory evoke enthusiasm at a particular time and when and why does that theory become stale?
  • Evaluating different kinds of theoretical contribution in the field. For example what are the strengths and limitations of models such as TAM? Are schema such as TPCK more normative than explanatory? What has social theory to offer?
  • Where next for theory and theorising? For example where might interdisciplinary approaches be developed? How can we avoid taking frameworks from other disciplines and using them off-the peg? What would a distinctively homegrown theory of technology and pedagogy look like? Where are related fields moving in their use of theory?

The event will participative with debate triggered by three contributions from Cristina Costa (University of Strathclyde), Michael Hammond (University of Warwick), Sarah Younie (De Montfort University).

For details of time, place and booking please click here.

This event is held in conjuction with an an open call for papers for a special issue on theorising in the journal Technology Pedagogy and Education.