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See detailTwo worlds of educational research? Comparing the levels, objects, disciplines, methodologies and themes in educational research in the United Kingdom and Germany, 2005–2015
Zapp, Mike UL; Marques, Marcelo UL; Powell, Justin J W UL

in Research in Comparative and International Education (2017), 12(4), 375-397

Embedded in social worlds, education systems and research reflect distinct national trajectories. We compare two contrasting traditions of educational research (ER). Whereas British ER exhibits a ... [more ▼]

Embedded in social worlds, education systems and research reflect distinct national trajectories. We compare two contrasting traditions of educational research (ER). Whereas British ER exhibits a multidisciplinary and pragmatic character, German ER reflects pedagogy and mainly humanities-based traditions. Yet, in both countries, policymakers’ growing demand for evidence in ER resulted in increased funding, specific research programs, and mandatory large-scale assessments. These have reshaped the field, suggesting more similar ER agendas. Based on a comprehensive original dataset of basic ER projects funded by the main grant- making agencies in both countries (2005–2015), we analyze five dimensions: levels, objects, disciplines, methodologies, and themes. We find epistemic drift, with partial convergence characterized by a multi-level focus, multidisciplinary approach, strongly empirical and quantitative methodology, and a premium on teaching and learning themes. The cases remain distinct in exploring systemic questions in a wider contextual frame (UK) or concentrating more narrowly on the individual learner (Germany). [less ▲]

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