Educational research has often been criticised as being too theoretical and inaccessible to a non-academic audience. Especially large scale assessments have been accused of reducing learning to achievement and performance rankings, failing to take into account the realities of the classroom. At a plenary debate on the challenges and potentials of science communication organised by the College for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (CIDER) and the Leibniz Education Research Network Alliance (LERN) in Berlin in January 2017, one of the challenges discussed was how educational researchers can ensure educational practitioners benefit from their findings. One of the panellists was Professor Eckhard Klieme, Director of the Department of Educational Quality and Evaluation at DIPF. We met him after the discussion to find out about his view on the collaboration between researchers and practitioners, why he feels it is important that young researchers sometimes think beyond publications and why it is sometimes easier to turn to English in science communication.
Interdisciplinary cooperation in educational research can present a challenge to young scientists. The fields they come from vary from pedagogy to sociology to psychology, all with their own rules, paradigms and ways of operating. A workshop organised by the College for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (CIDER) and the Leibniz Education Research Network Alliance (LERN) held in Berlin in January 2017 brought researchers with different backgrounds together and offered them the opportunity to present and discuss their current work. The workshop included a plenary debate on the challenges and potentials of science communication, an issue any educational researcher will be confronted with sooner or later in their career. In accordance with the idea of interdisciplinarity, the panellists also came from different backgrounds, ranging from economics to innovation management and international cooperation. We were at the event to hear their stance on the current status of science communication. One thing quickly became clear: The audiences of science communication are as diverse as the scientific approaches underlying educational research.
By Stephanie Pauly