NERA Panel discussion

March 9th (Friday) 14:00-15:00 

Auditorium 3 (HE)

Educational Sciences and pedagogy


The conditions for ‘producing’ truths and - not the least - knowledge of ‘what works’ was reconfigured before the 2000s. Science was increasingly drawn into a new configuration in its relations with policy and market, in which the latter increasingly demanded what was described as ‘quality’ and ‘relevance’ to the so-called global knowledge economies’ need for knowledge and labor. This was followed by more governance and control, increasingly documentation in relation to the needs of the knowledge society, including students’ learning of necessary competencies, and the like.

This is the reason why new ways of thinking of and structuring educational research came about in the 1990s, ways that have become so well established that alternative ways of thinking about ‘pedagogikk’ as a research discipline are under pressure.

In Norway, Sweden and Denmark, the term educational sciences (utdanningsvitenskap) has in a relatively short time emerged as an overriding and unifying concept. Educational sciences has in other words become the dominant concept concerning research on and for education (utdanning). As such, pedagogy as a research discipline has been placed under educational sciences – as interdisciplinary in its character. Thus, pedagogy run the risk of being marginalised, whereupon the discipline’s contribution to a vivid and holistic international educational research is under threat.  

This panel discussion provides an opportunity to address these challenges while exploring ways forward.

Professor Auli Toom

PhD, Professor of Higher Education, works as a Director of the Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HYPE) at University of Helsinki, Finland. Dr. Toom is also the director of the doctoral programme PsyCo (Psychology, Learning and Communication). She holds Adjunct Professorship at the University of Eastern Finland and is Visiting Professor at University of Tartu, Estonia. Her research interests include teacher knowing, agency and teacher education as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning. She investigates student learning of knowledge work and global competencies, and pedagogies and digital technologies supporting learning in the contexts of basic, upper secondary and higher education. She leads and co-leads several research projects on these themes and supervises PhD students together with her research colleagues. She serves on editorial boards in different journals and has acted as a reviewer for many scientific journals, conferences and international research programs. She is the Executive Editor of Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice. Her research articles have appeared in several scientific journals and edited books. She is a regular keynote speaker and facilitator at national and international educational conferences and seminars. She has also worked as an expert in many international teacher education researches and development projects.

Professor emeritus Jón Torfi Jónasson 

Professor Jón Torfi Jónasson is a former dean of the School of Education, University of Iceland. In his academic training he has moved through physics (BSc), cognitive psychology (MSc, PhD) and education (professional career). In his research on education he has addressed all levels of the education system, from the kindergarten, through primary, secondary, vocational, tertiary and adult education. His main focus has been on the history and developments of these arenas, and how they change – or not. In a recent paper on inertia within the field of education he argues that a major problem for education is the lack of interest and competence to discuss the central issue, that of the nature and aim of education.

Professor Jens Erik Kristensen

Professor Kristensen, b. 1955, M.A in History of Ideas, B.A. in Political Science and PH.D, University of Aarhus; Associate Professor in History of Ideas and Philosophy of Education, The Danish School of Education (DPU), Aarhus University. Research areas: history of educational ideas and institutions, contemporary diagnosis and history of the present, politics of knowledge in education.

(Recent publications: Pædagogikkens idehistorie (s.m. Ove Korsgaard and Hans Siggaard Jensen), Aarhus 2017); ’Samtidsdiagnostik, videnspolitik og kritik – med særligt henblik på uddannelse og uddannelsesvidenskab’ In: Ljungdalh, A. K. et al. (ed.) 2017.  Uddannelsesvidenskab. Copenhagen, Samfundslitteratur, s. 11-46; ’Dannelsens genkomst i skolen – som svar på en ensidig uddannelseslogik’. I Moos, L. (ed.) 2017. Dannels. Kontekster, visioner, temaer pg processer. Copenhagen: Hans Reitzels Forlag, s.33-70.)

Professor Carl Anders Säfström 

Professor of Educational Research Maynooth University Social Science Institute. Previous Universities: Uppsala University (Docent); Mälardalen University (Professor, Dean);  University of Stirling (Visiting Professor); Södertörn University (Professor, Chair of the board for the reworking of teacher education programs). Chair of research school in Philosophical Investigations of Educational Relations (financed by VR 2011-2017).

Professor Carl A. Säfström was a member of the board of NERA 2008-2016, Vice-president 2010-2013, President 2013-2016.


Professor Herner Saeverot

Professor of Education and Research Director of the research group PedLab at Western Norway University in Norway. He is Visiting Professor at NLA University College, Bergen, Norway, and Editor-in-Chief of Nordic Studies in Education. His research interests include the theory and history of education and educational research, the academic field of educational studies, and literature and education. His newest and selected publications include: Roberts, P. & Saeverot, H. (2017). Education and the Limits of Reason: Reading Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Nabokov. New York & London: Routledge; Saeverot, H. (2017). Resistance to Teach. In Richard Hickman (Ed.): The Wiley Blackwells Encyclopedia of Art & Design Education. Volume 1: Philosophy and History of Art Education. Oxford: Wiley Blackwells; Saeverot, H. (in press/2018). Invisible Teaching. In Paul Smeyers (Ed.): International Handbook of Philosophy of Education. Berlin: Springer. 



Published Jan. 31, 2018 2:46 PM - Last modified Mar. 7, 2018 3:10 PM