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What is the point of a faculty of education?

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Refreshments available from 4.15pm

Abstract: This lecture poses the question of what the purpose and value of an education faculty or department might be in the modern university. In particular, it asks what the so-called ‘U.S.P.’ (unique selling point) of such an institution is, and recognises the potential for a large eclectic department to be seen as redundant in the context of a wider university. A faculty which looks too much like the university reproduced in microcosm within one department opens itself up to being seen as potentially redundant and dispersible without losing anything essentially special. This lecture seeks to identify the particular expertise provided by an education faculty, in relation to the proper specification of the content of educational scholarship. An argument can be made that an education faculty that wishes to remain viable at time of severe pressure on university resources should, as an imperative, prioritise core work around those areas of scholarship, teaching, research, and public engagement, that only this particular kind of institution can offer. This should not be considered an argument for building a homogenous silo of education scholars looking to see educational work as somehow encapsulated and disconnected from other disciplines – far from it. Indeed, it is argued that the kind of work which society needs education faculty to undertake is in a very real sense at the borders of educational studies and other disciplinary areas, and relies on expertise that melds educational scholarship with membership of other disciplinary communities.

This talk is part of the Science & Technology Education Research Group ( S &TERG) series.

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