Educational theory has always been framed within a wider context including philosophy, psychology, sociology and history. In the last ten years, educational discourse has been characterized by the emergence of a more managerialist paradigm and increased emphasis on the delivery of particular educational ‘outcomes’. This has taken place in the context of the huge expansion of tertiary education from the national level, a process in which education has come to be understood as a lucrative global commodity. But alongside these developments, there has also been a resurgence of interest in the educational insights provided by the disciplines of education: for example, renewed emphasis on enquiry-based approaches to learning (Dewey), social constructivist pedagogy (Vygotsky), educational critique (Bourdieu, Freire), new inter-religious pedagogies (Grimmit, Jackson) and fresh perspectives on the ‘spiral’ curriculum (Bruner). Much of this work takes the form of a critique of the instrumentalism of outcome-driven approaches. As the debt-laden student emerges as a political subject, educational discourse has come to represent a particularly contested terrain.
The book series New Disciplinary Perspectives on Education seeks to explore how these debates within the resurgence of the disciplines of education relate to wider political and economic conditions, creating new critical understandings and possibilities within educational theory and practice. It welcomes both theoretical and empirical studies, alongside mixed-methods approaches, and publishes disciplinary studies within philosophy, psychology, sociology and history as well as encouraging cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary work.