Is powerful educational knowledge possible?

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16 Citations (SciVal)


This paper asks if powerful educational knowledge is possible, by examining the character and constitution of educational knowledge and its means of acquiring ‘power’. In disciplines or fields that might be termed ‘applied’ or ‘professionally orientated’ the characteristics of powerful knowledge are constituted in ways that often differ from purer disciplinary forms, opening up new constraints and tensions. It is argued here that to profile the character of educational knowledge it is important to make the distinction between knowledge about education and knowledge for educational practice, and to conceptualise the potential relations and tensions between the two. It is also important to acknowledge that ‘powerful’ actors do not often ascribe educational knowledge with power, and often have views of education held in opposition to those involved in educational knowledge production. These factors, combined with weak conceptualisations of educational professionalism and practice, pose considerable difficulties for the development of powerful educational knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-802
Number of pages16
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Issue number6
Early online date8 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018


  • disciplinarity
  • education studies
  • Powerful knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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