The value of plurality and the future of Education Studies

Traditionally, non-vocational forms of higher education have been rooted in coherent visions of ‘higher’ learning which have generally been situated within disciplines. However, freedom from the restrictions of disciplinary boundaries is perhaps one of the most significant strengths of Education Studies. The wide range of disciplines and approaches that underpin and inform Education Studies programmes have not only contributed to its development as a subject in its own right, but also provide a rich and diverse foundation from which to study education and through which to explore a wide range of educational issues and themes. But such diversity raises many tensions and brings many challenges to the development of programmes who seek the continued development of meaningful forms of non-vocational higher education. The tensions that emerge from within the subject are furthered within the general landscape of higher education which is increasingly informed by new discourses, such the discourse of employability, which prioritise new values. Taking a philosophical approach, this paper explores some of the many tensions and challenges that arise in the development of Education Studies programmes and argues for the necessity to seek educational value in the plurality that characterises them.