1st Edition

The Epistemological Development of Education Considering Bourdieu, Foucault and Dewey

By Andrew Skourdoumbis, Scott Webster Copyright 2023

    This book documents the political and economic ramifications of the policy impetus for a "science of education" and what this means for classroom teachers, their teaching practices and for the field of education.

    In a critical exploration of current research and policy articulations of the purposes of education, with attention given to Australia, the UK and the USA, this book delineates the evaluative mechanisms involved in the strategic science as method adoption of accountability, competitiveness and test-driven criteria used in major education policy. It brings together the disciplines of sociology and philosophy by drawing on the theoretical insights of Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu and John Dewey. In addition, the book argues for the deliberate use of the theoretical in education and is against the contemporary unquestioning advocacy that often accompanies a narrowly defined master narrative of a science of education.

    This book will be of special interest to post-graduate students as source material in general education courses and is also intended for academics with an interest in educational theory/philosophy and the sociology of education.

    1. The emergence of theorizing a "science of education" 2. Foucault, Bourdieu and education 3. The confines of education policy-making 4. Crisis and change 5. John Dewey, teachers and the educative experience today 6. Teacher identity and expertise why it matters 7. Growth in and for what? 8. Innovative practice within the evidence-based matrix 9. Democratizing the epistemology of education 10. An epistemology of education to be embodied by educators


    Andrew Skourdoumbis is an associate professor of education. His research interests include teacher effectiveness research, critical policy analysis, teacher practice and educational performance, curriculum theory and research methodology. Andrew is interested in how reforms in the economy influence and impact teacher practice and the way that exacting methods of research govern teacher performance and effectiveness.

    Scott Webster was formally an associate professor in education and currently works in the field of higher education within the area of higher degree research methodology. His areas of research include educational philosophy, curriculum theory, teacher education and spirituality. He has written and edited books such as Caring Confrontations for Education and Democracy, Educating for Meaningful Lives, Understanding Curriculum: The Australian Context, Theory and Philosophy in Educational Research and Rethinking Reflection and Ethics for Teachers. He has also published in various international education research journals and presented at various international conferences.