Kvernbekk, T. & Jarning, H. (2019). Mapping: Coming to grips with educational landscapes
This paper is about education as a discipline and a research field and various attempts to circumscribe and map it. First, we look at different Norwegian attempts to represent education understood as a discipline, in terms of maps of the discipline from 1926 to date. Second, we inquire into the historical changes in the landscape supposedly mapped, using empirical sources. This inquiry basically shows that the discipline/landscape has expanded immensely over the past 30 years or so; it has outgrown its disciplinary boundaries and is better viewed as a field. This field can be characterized as fragmented, as having no obvious unity, with porous boundaries and content in flux. This poses great challenges for disciplinary mapmaking. That brings us to our third topic: what do we do in such a situation? We shall inquire into a few possible responses. Mapping of the whole field is not feasible, but there are possibilities for mapping of selected areas and creation of local order in the field. The diagnosed flux is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it leads to fragmentation and identity problems, but on the other hand it may open up for more general renewal as well as new and unusual groupings or connections.