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Knowledge, field and researchers: the production of academic knowledge in the intersections of psychology and education in Argentina (2000-2010)

Cimolai, Silvina (2015) Knowledge, field and researchers: the production of academic knowledge in the intersections of psychology and education in Argentina (2000-2010). PhD thesis, UCL Institute of Education.

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Abstract

This thesis analyses knowledge production and the role of the researcher in the intersections of psychology and education in Argentina. It aims to contribute to an understanding of educational psychology as a field of knowledge, both in terms of its present situation and future development. The research draws on and applies conceptual tools from the sociological theory of Basil Bernstein, some contributions from Pierre Bourdieu, and relevant work within the field of higher education studies. The fieldwork has consisted of collecting information on psycho-educational research projects carried out in six psychology faculties in Argentinian public universities during the period 2000-2010 as well as carrying out interviews with a selection of researchers. The analysis presented here illustrates that the structure of the psycho-educational field is conceived by academics as a horizontal knowledge structure with weak grammar, and comprising various disputes with respect to topics, methodologies, theoretical approaches and ways of conceiving knowledge production. Formal education contexts, especially at the university level, as well as the role of students are shown to be the most studied objects in the psycho-educational research, which has produced knowledge on, for example, academic trajectories, school failure, school interactions, cognitive and personality aspects, subjectivity processes in education, and academic tasks and devices. The research also illustrates that the most privileged methodology is qualitative, although there is also a consolidated tradition in ‘scientific’ approaches. Furthermore, the research illustrates that the professional practice of academics producing psycho-educational knowledge is mainly configured as a multi-tasking profession, where there are weak insulations between the different professional roles and weak framing of the researcher role, as its realization and recognition rules are less explicit and require constant negotiation. Thus, academics tend to draw on other professional practices in the decisions related to their practices of knowledge production, and legitimation strategies based not only on knowledge codes but also on knower codes are identified. Finally, an organisational language that puts in relation the strength of the specialisation of the research role with the legitimation strategies of knowledge is proposed, identifying four different strategies of identity formation as researchers in the field: Specialist researcher, artisan researcher, theory-affiliated academic, and generalist professional.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Educational psychology, academic profession, higher education studies
Subjects: Departments > Culture, Communication and Media
Depositing User: Mr Julian Zerfahs
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2015 14:55
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2015 14:55
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