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WHY CONCEPTS MATTER, WHAT CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IS FOR, AND THE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION

Jane Gatley Orcid Logo

British Journal of Educational Studies, Volume: 71, Issue: 5, Pages: 549 - 565

Swansea University Author: Jane Gatley Orcid Logo

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Abstract

The concept of ‘knowledge’ is central to education, particularly when it comes to the school curriculum. This paper makes the case for engaging in conceptual analysis, and in particularly conceptual engineering, in educational studies. Conceptual engineering emphasises analysing concepts with their...

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Published in: British Journal of Educational Studies
ISSN: 0007-1005 1467-8527
Published: Informa UK Limited 2023
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa64034
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spelling v2 64034 2023-08-04 WHY CONCEPTS MATTER, WHAT CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IS FOR, AND THE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION c4e96c9e3ef14ef3fc4f926397d9ff48 0000-0001-7225-1835 Jane Gatley Jane Gatley true false 2023-08-04 EDUC The concept of ‘knowledge’ is central to education, particularly when it comes to the school curriculum. This paper makes the case for engaging in conceptual analysis, and in particularly conceptual engineering, in educational studies. Conceptual engineering emphasises analysing concepts with their purposes in mind. To illustrate the importance of this sort of conceptual analysis in education, I track the educational impact of three concepts of knowledge: (1) the traditional philosophical concept of knowledge as justified, true belief; (2) Michael Young’s concept of ‘knowledge of the powerful’; and (3) Young’s concept of ‘powerful knowledge’. I argue that knowledge as justified, true belief is too abstracted from educational purposes to provide much guidance for curriculum planning. Young’s ‘knowledge of the powerful’ prioritises the social role that knowledge can play over its value to individual students. Finally, ‘powerful knowledge’ is too unclear to provide appropriate guidance to policy makers and practitioners. By examining the interactions between these concepts of knowledge and historical policy and practice in education, I conclude that the focus of conceptual engineering on clarity about the purposes of education is central to good conceptual analysis. Journal Article British Journal of Educational Studies 71 5 549 565 Informa UK Limited 0007-1005 1467-8527 Powerful knowledge, curriculum, philosophy of education, conceptual engineering, conceptual analysis 3 9 2023 2023-09-03 10.1080/00071005.2023.2234453 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2023.2234453 COLLEGE NANME Education COLLEGE CODE EDUC Swansea University SU Library paid the OA fee (TA Institutional Deal) Swansea University. Society of Educational Studies. 2023-11-01T14:25:03.0771357 2023-08-04T10:19:50.6321826 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences School of Social Sciences - Education and Childhood Studies Jane Gatley 0000-0001-7225-1835 1 64034__28242__dbf64c85a8d94c5ca79011da5c71c6ad.pdf 64034.VOR.pdf 2023-08-04T10:22:59.6227683 Output 578156 application/pdf Version of Record true © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). true eng https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
title WHY CONCEPTS MATTER, WHAT CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IS FOR, AND THE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION
spellingShingle WHY CONCEPTS MATTER, WHAT CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IS FOR, AND THE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION
Jane Gatley
title_short WHY CONCEPTS MATTER, WHAT CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IS FOR, AND THE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION
title_full WHY CONCEPTS MATTER, WHAT CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IS FOR, AND THE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION
title_fullStr WHY CONCEPTS MATTER, WHAT CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IS FOR, AND THE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION
title_full_unstemmed WHY CONCEPTS MATTER, WHAT CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IS FOR, AND THE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION
title_sort WHY CONCEPTS MATTER, WHAT CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IS FOR, AND THE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION
author_id_str_mv c4e96c9e3ef14ef3fc4f926397d9ff48
author_id_fullname_str_mv c4e96c9e3ef14ef3fc4f926397d9ff48_***_Jane Gatley
author Jane Gatley
author2 Jane Gatley
format Journal article
container_title British Journal of Educational Studies
container_volume 71
container_issue 5
container_start_page 549
publishDate 2023
institution Swansea University
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1467-8527
doi_str_mv 10.1080/00071005.2023.2234453
publisher Informa UK Limited
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hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
department_str School of Social Sciences - Education and Childhood Studies{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences{{{_:::_}}}School of Social Sciences - Education and Childhood Studies
url http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2023.2234453
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description The concept of ‘knowledge’ is central to education, particularly when it comes to the school curriculum. This paper makes the case for engaging in conceptual analysis, and in particularly conceptual engineering, in educational studies. Conceptual engineering emphasises analysing concepts with their purposes in mind. To illustrate the importance of this sort of conceptual analysis in education, I track the educational impact of three concepts of knowledge: (1) the traditional philosophical concept of knowledge as justified, true belief; (2) Michael Young’s concept of ‘knowledge of the powerful’; and (3) Young’s concept of ‘powerful knowledge’. I argue that knowledge as justified, true belief is too abstracted from educational purposes to provide much guidance for curriculum planning. Young’s ‘knowledge of the powerful’ prioritises the social role that knowledge can play over its value to individual students. Finally, ‘powerful knowledge’ is too unclear to provide appropriate guidance to policy makers and practitioners. By examining the interactions between these concepts of knowledge and historical policy and practice in education, I conclude that the focus of conceptual engineering on clarity about the purposes of education is central to good conceptual analysis.
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