Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Maria Kondratjuk

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Habilitation research project

Perspectives on boundaries and discourses around transdisciplinarity in educational science

This Habilitation project, consisting of various discrete publications, seeks to examine three to four divergent and yet linked sets of issues under an overarching thematic and theoretical umbrella, opening up a meta-perspective on the separate sub-projects via borrowings from and extensions of critical theory (specifically, in this case, critical educational studies and critical science research/science studies). In this way, the work will attempt to critique and reflect upon theories, methodologies and programmatic conceptions held and advanced by the field.

1. Transdisciplinarity in educational science

The principal focus in this sub-project lies on the transcending of boundaries (between disciplines, fields of study, points of view, etc.) and on attempts to define the constitutive core of educational science and to delineate a theoretical and methodological common ground for academics in transdisciplinary research contexts. The potential for acts of translation to serve as a basis for the attainment of a shared understanding is of special interest here.

2. Boundary-work in educational science

This part of the research seeks to pinpoint where exactly, in the transdisciplinary landscape, the boundaries lie; that is, for instance, where disciplines set their boundaries to others. It endeavours to explore the ways in which boundaries come into being and the process of boundary-drawing by educational studies, neighbouring disciplines, schools, traditions of theory and thought, etc., through discursive and other means. The research will examine potential or impending engagement with boundaries and the ways in which they are transcended via phenomena such as transdisciplinarity, alongside the use of boundary objects in translational processes and in the negotiations via which the lines are drawn.

3. Discourses in educational science: the example of qualitative research

How do discourses come into being, and which objects and subjects do they generate, specifically in educational science? The chief interest of this part of the research is in the retracing of discursive trajectories that uncover the emergence, the push towards prominence and the fall from discursive grace of topics within the discipline, responses to these topics, and the status of qualitative research in the field. The aim of the project is to present an exemplary case study of academic boundary-work.