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The programme "Educational Research," which is conducted by the group of ten researchers of the Educational Research Institute (ERI) in Ljubljana, comprises very complex topics. The fundamental section (the individual researchers are in part wholly autonomous in their research) consists of developing the sciences like pedagogy, philosophy, sociology, psychology, linguistics, anthropology (with sub-disciplines and interdisciplinary cross-sections with the central field, i.e. educational theory). The educational process is based on representations of knowledge and of the ways of gaining and transmitting it. Different perceptions of this process competed with one another in the past. They consist of two large groups: the first concentrates on the "inner" resources of knowledge, the second one looks for "outer" resources. In spite of the sharp controversies between the two, they are both productive. Philosophy of education focuses on the analysis of notions and concepts, theories and specific discourses of the educational sciences. Within this field we can find a range of conceptual propositions in the philosophical disciplines: from aesthetics to logic and social philosophy. A critical analysis of the effects of globalisation in education makes another part of this line of research.
As the educational (as any other social) activity is based on language, we cannot even imagine an educational practice that wouldn't include as the constitutive components new epistemological and methodological findings in the field of language and speech research, especially in the linguistic pragmatics and argumentation in rhetoric. In the sociological view the structural determinants of education in Slovenia are ascertained. They set "propulsion and implosion" of education in the circumstances of the information (learning) society. In this segment we also pay attention to some links between educational research and women's studies that bring forth the problems of gender (in)equality. Another aspect is a question concerning the level of the best possible implementation of the transformational anthropological notion of schooling. There is no wide consensus on the values the school should transmit, and on how and when these values should be taught. What is the nature of values, what kind of a relationship is there between public and private values. How to educate and "develop the capacity for critical consideration", which is included in of one of the goals of education decreed by law. How can we teach values, transmit statements and abilities to act, without "indoctrination". These are the questions through which theory confronts the challenges of the educational practice. Special aspects of this line of research are: the position of a child and his or her rights in educational system, regulation of rights and duties, specifics of rights as duties (obligatory schooling), problems of representing a child who finds himself in a conflict with a school or parents, participation of a child in decision making processes in school. Museum pedagogy as a new and developing discipline finds its place in this research programme as well. The Bologna Declaration brings a range of new features that open the academic space, but at the same time represent the danger of a too quick, instrumental and a consumerist adaptation of higher schooling to the labour market. Some attention is paid to the positive innovations and dangers that are being pointed out by the sociology of education, theories of globalisation, in discussions about the European dimension of education and on the "post-modern state of affairs", etc. All mentioned and non-mentioned points must be understood in connection with realities of the Slovene educational system, in which the implementation of a reform is going on along other changes. The research programme is a core of all research work of the ERI. It is linked with a range of applied and empirical studies, evaluations, etc.
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