Issue 3/2015, 107. Volume Page 299–314
Empirical Educational Research as Enlightenment?
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In the title of this contribution, there are two terms that arouse highly different associations: Enlightenment is an important term from the occidental history of ideas; it describes both a historical era in the 17th and 18th century and a concept of science and use of reason, which is still effective until today. In contrast, educational research is a very young term that rather provokes technical associations – from questionnaires to computer calculations to third-party funds. In the following, I will try to interrelate both fields in four steps: The argumentation starts with the question: “What is educational research?” Then the question is raised: “What does it mean to expect ‘enlightenment’ from educational research?” These two steps are the preliminaries for the subsequent analyses. With regard to two renowned projects of empirical educational research (PISA 2000, COACTIV), it will be analyzed exemplarily where their position between social technology and enlightenment can be found. Based on these findings, critical questions are posed to the empirical educational research of today.
educational research, Enlightenment, educational equality, evidence-basing