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ERIC Number: EJ1123794
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0034-5237
Leaving the Future Behind
Sellar, Sam
Research in Education, v96 n1 p12-18 Nov 2016
This article puts forward the provocation that optimism has become a trap for educational research. It is argued that optimism underpins the implicit model of modern educational thought, which is oriented toward the "future" and wants it to be better. However, optimism can become a trap when it encourages investment in promises about the benefits of education that cannot be realized for all. As more and more people invest in education to "get ahead" their optimism contributes to decreasing the value of credentials and thus undermines the promised benefits. Educational researchers contribute to this bind because the dominant model of modern educational thought is inherently optimistic. However, pessimism offers an inherently unpromising alternative. In a time of economic, environmental, and technological disruption, this article the concept of disaster might provoke lines of thought that go beyond the alternative between optimism or pessimism. The writings of Lauren Berlant, Maurice Blanchot, and Gilles Deleuze provide the theoretical framing for the argument. The article concludes that if optimism has lured educational thought and research into a trap, then it may be time to give up on "the future" in order to get out.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A