Plenarno predavanje: prof. dr. Pavel Zgaga

Raziskovanje edukacije in edukacijske politike, ali o razmerju ‘kraljev’ in ‘filozofov’


Eno izmed ključnih načel sodobnih šolskih reform je, da naj bi bile »osnovane na raziskovalnih ugotovitvah«; eden izmed bistvenih motivov raziskovanja pa je, da so rezultati našega dela »relevantni«. Pričakovati bi bilo torej mogoče, da je razmerje med raziskovanjem edukacije in edukacijskimi politikami srečna zveza. Zahteva, da v sodobnih demokratičnih družbah obstaja tesna in produktivna povezanost med procesom oblikovanja javnih politik in procesom za njih relevantnega raziskovanja, se na prvi pogled torej zdi pričakovana in neproblematična. Tudi načelo, po katerem ta povezanost vključuje določene omejitve na obeh straneh, ni videti problematično: oblikovanje politik ne sme temeljiti na nereflektiranih in strokovno spornih odločitvah, osnovanih na partikularnih ideoloških prepričanjih, priporočil in zlasti argumentov raziskav pa ne sme podreti že prvi protiargument in na možne kritike morajo znati ponuditi odgovore in alternative. Niti bi smele biti javne politike oddaljene od »resničnega sveta«, niti bi smele biti raziskave zaklenjene v »slonokoščene stolpe«.

Vendar pa že iz izkušenj vemo, da je razmerje med politikami in raziskovanjem lahko zelo ambivalentno, nekoliko podobno tistemu, kar se sicer rado dogaja tudi v zasebnem življenju: to razmerje je zapleteno in pogosto precej ambivalentno, če že ne celo konfliktno. Sodobne zahteve po »učinkovitem upravljanju sistema« vzpostavljajo diskurz, ki se v mnogih točkah bistveno razlikuje od diskurza, ki ga postavlja tradicionalna intelektualna potreba po »nepristranskem iskanju resnice«. Dihotomičnost teh dveh diskurzov nikakor ni odkritje našega časa. Na Platonovo znamenito predpostavko o »filozofih-kraljih« kot rešitvi konflikta med vednostjo in močjo, je dve tisočletji kasneje odgovoril Kant z besedami, da utopije, v kateri naj »kralji filozofirajo, filozofi pa naj postanejo kralji«, tudi v razsvetljeni dobi ne gre pričakovati, pravzaprav niti želeti. Na tem konceptualnem ozadju bomo poskušali razmisliti, kako se ta dihotomija odraža v našem času in v dilemah, s katerimi se sooča sedanja, a zelo verjetno tudi naslednja generacija tako tistih, ki raziskujejo delovanje javnih sistemov, kot tudi tistih, ki oblikujejo javne politike.


Education and education policy research or on the relation between ‘kings’ and ‘philosophers’


One of the key principles of modern school reforms is that it should be “based on research findings” and one of the main motives of the research is that the results of our work are “relevant”. It could be expected that the relationship between education research and educational policy is a happy union. The demand that there should be a close and productive link between the policy-making process and process of policy research looks expected and nonproblematic at first glance.  Moreover, even the principle, that this link should include certain restrictions on both sides, does not appear to be problematic: the policy-making process should not be based on unreflected and professionally controversial decisions, based on particular ideological beliefs. What is more, recommendations, and in particular the research arguments, should not be undermined by the first counter-argument, and they should be able to offer answers and alternatives to possible criticisms. Nor should public policies be remote from the “real world”, and research should not be locked in “ivory towers”.

However, it is known from the experience that the relationship between policies and research can be very ambivalent, rather similar to what is happening in personal life: the relationship is complicated and at times ambivalent, if not even inclined to conflict. Contemporary requirements for “effective system management” create a discourse, which in many ways differs substantially from the discourse posed by the traditional intellectual necessity of “impartial search for truth”.  The dichotomy of these two discourses is by no means the discovery of our time. To Plato’s famous assumption of “philosopher-king” as a solution to the conflict between knowledge and power, Kant responded two thousand years later with the words that utopia, where “a king is a philosopher and philosophers are kings,” should not be expected or even wished for in an enlightened era. On this conceptual background, the author tries to consider how this dichotomy is reflected today and how this and the next generation of public systems researchers and policymakers are facing these dilemmas.