Smith J, Doherty R & Mercieca D (2023) Editorial. Scottish Educational Review, 54 (2), pp. 147-148. https://doi.org/10.1163/27730840-bja10008
There is a persistent debate among education researchers about whether we are researching a ‘discipline’ or a ‘field’ (see Wyse (2020) for a recent example). Newcomers to the research are sometimes puzzled by the contours of the debate and many more are puzzled about why it should matter. To those for whom such distinctions matter, the strength of feeling reflects the connotations of the two words – a ‘discipline’ is something that someone submits to, a professional community, a narrow set of epistemic rules which takes decades to master. The metaphor ‘field’, meanwhile, conjures an image of a sprawling wild space, ungoverned and uncharted. For Richard Peters (1963), such a field could only be truly understood according to the component disciplines of history, psychology, sociology and psychology; inevitably prompting further debate about whether these could, themselves, be considered disciplines. Behind these esoteric debates lies the key strength of education studies: its breadth of study. This edition of Scottish Educational Review reflects the eclecticism of the subject and its concerns.
Scottish Educational Review: Volume 54, Issue 2