Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 11, No. 1, 2012, pages 58-61.
The author asks What do we consider ‘useful’ as research on education – as researchers? This is asking for a self-evaluation by educational research(ers).
Giving an answer to this requires a reflexivity; a reflexivity which places us in a position where we need to examine and re-examine, on different levels, what we say and do as researchers.
This kind of reflexivity is not uncomplicated to perform and it could lead into a less fruitful self-absorption.
Another reason for this being a difficult task to perform is that it asks each of us engaged in the field of educational research to reconsider what we value, what we count as knowledge and what we care about – although it should be noted that, according to the American philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt (1988), we do not always know what we care about.
Under the main question, we have been asked to answer the following three questions: What counts as useful education knowledge, and under which conditions, context and criteria? For whom is it useful, and how do they assert their priority? What is the role of researchers in making their research useful?