Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | May 22, 2008

Gert Biesta

For reasons that require a separate and lengthy explanation, I developed a habit of attending conferences on education research. Nevertheless I got to a meeting The Teaching-Research Interface: Implications for Practice in HE and FE by mistake: I red the title literally, but the organisers meant the interface between teaching and research in teaching. It was a sever disappointment. However, I fully compensated by Gert Biesta‘s talk The art of the possible: Linking teaching and research (but not too much). It was the first time that I met an educationalist who stated publicly that teaching is not a science, it is art. He also warned that we should not expect too much from the education research, and argued against evidenced-based policy making in education — see his paper Why “what works” won’t work: evidence-based practice and the democratic deficit in educational research.

From abstract of his talk:

The question of the relationship between research and practice in education is as  old as the academic reflection on education itself. It is, however, a persistent question, as can be seen in recent calls for evidence-based education. In my presentation I will explore some of the assumptions about educational practice, knowledge and research that inform discussions about the connections between teaching and research, in order to outline in what ways and to what extent teaching and research can and should be connected. I will argue that any connections between teaching and research should always be mediated by
professional judgement, and that such judgements always entail normative questions. I will also indicate where and how there is a need for a critical distance between teaching and research.


  1. What’s the difference between art and science again? 😉

  2. See my next post.

  3. I found somewhere a quote from Einstein:

    We do science when we reconstruct in the language of logic what we have seen and experienced. We do art when we communicate through forms whose connections are not accessible to the conscious mind yet we intuitively recognise them as something meaningful.

  4. […] 17, 2009 by Alexandre Borovik I had already had a chance to rant against evidence-based educational research  which leads to replacement individual studies by faceless statistics. It is a sensitive issue […]

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