There is no teaching without media. But what do we know about decision-making processes on what is included in these media, how they are designed, and how they shape what future generations are to know about the world? Today's schools are media-rich environments, from traditional paper textbooks to interactive digital textbooks and further media including open educational resources (OER). The increasing appearance of new educational technology in today's classrooms makes it imperative to rethink classic questions about knowledge production in schools.
Which new actors are shaping the content of today's teaching? How are the educational publishers, which have traditionally dominated the field, reacting to their shifting role? What happens to classic textbook adoption processes in countries where educational policymakers had - or still have - significant clout in deciding which textbooks should be allowed in schools? What happens to authoritative knowledge when the printed textbook is increasingly accompanied by - or even replaced by - a networked system of digital teaching and learning materials authored by a range of diverse individuals? How can quality be assessed and maintained for digital materials? How are licensing and copyright issues affecting what teachers select for class?
These are just some of the questions which researchers are beginning to address. Research has identified the technological, medial, epistemic, social and pedagogical innovations and contingencies which shape the production of textbooks and other digital educational media, both today and in the past.
Findings emerging in disparate research fields have, however, not yet entered a sustained dialogue with one another. In order to generate productive synergies across the fragmented field of production research, this conference aims to bring together researchers from diverse regional and disciplinary communities. In particular, it will encourage discussion between, first, research on print-based school media and digital media, and second, historical and contemporary perspectives.
By drawing on this international and interdisciplinary exchange, the conference will identify core dimensions of knowledge-production for schools, and shape future perspectives on researching knowledge production in this field.
We invite papers which analyse print and digital educational media from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives. We particularly welcome papers which investigate the relationship between societal issues shaping the production process and the selection and presentation of content in the materials.
Against this broad background, we are particularly - but not exclusively - interested in the following:
Theories and methods of educational media production
Local, national, international and transnational dimensions of knowledge production for schools
- Archiving and maintaining the historical record
- Policy frameworks
- The role of pressure groups, lobbyists and interest groups
- The work of editors and authors
- Technical, design and aesthetic dimensions
- Business models and strategies
- Copyright and licences
- Quality assurance
We plan to acquire additional funding to cover travel and accommodation expenses. An edited volume will be published based on selected contributions to the conference.
Contact person: Steffen Sammler
Knowledge production in a hybrid age: Contemporary and historical perspectives on producing textbooks and digital educational media
Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Braunschweig