Conference Papers

(Re)Conceptualising Education Studies: Curriculum concepts and continuities

Education Studies programmes in undergraduate awards have typically had to contend with the multiple challenges of epistemological coherence, its (dis)connection to educational practice and trajectories of studentship in the study of the field. While the ‘discipline’ of Education Studies has typically drawn on aspects of history, psychology, philosophy and sociology of education, there has been an increasing horizonalisation of elements of study, to include hitherto marginally regarded fields, such as law, economics, journalism, and ecology. Little attention, however, has been given to the informing concepts in the study of education that not only underpin curriculum, but, moreover, frequently resurface throughout levels of student study. Based on a long and extensive history of teaching education studies with undergraduate students, the authors question the prevailing epistemology of ‘informing disciplines’ as a foundation for curriculum design and instead argue for a reconceptualization of the curriculum based on a menu of repeatedly appearing, interdisciplinary, cross-referenced concepts. In this paper the authors present the context and genesis of this rationale, the ramifications for curriculum design, teaching and studentship in education studies. In arguing for a context-sensitive conceptual framework, the authors address issues of intellectual progression and continuities in the study of the field as a critical educational endeavour.

Trotman, D., Griffin, S. and Willoughby, R. (2018) '(Re)Conceptualising Education Studies: Curriculum concepts and continuities', paper presented to The 14th Annual Conference of the British Education Studies Association (BESA), 27–29 June, viewed 13 August 2020, <>