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The paradigms of e-Education
An analysis of the communication structures in the research on information and communication technology integration in education in the years 2000–2001
Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB210), Linnanmaa, on January 9th, 2004, at 12 noon.
Abstract in Finnish
Copyright © 2003
University of Oulu
Professor Päivi Atjonen
Professor Jouko Kari
UNIVERSITY OF OULU, OULU FINLAND 2003
ISBN 951-42-7246-3 (PDF)
ISSN 1796-2242 (Online)
This thesis aims to contribute to the restructuring of the research field of ICT in education by trying to reduce the complexity of the research with an analysis of the research from the perspective of research of science. The analysis provides a second order observation of research especially from a paradigm point of view. The concept of paradigm has been re-defined by applying Niklas Luhmann's (1995) theory of social systems. The main research task of this thesis is to describe the paradigms structuring scientific communication in research on ICT integration in education. The research questions here are based on the understanding that paradigms are structures of the social communicative systems of science, creating expectations for the researcher about the scientific nature of the research.
The definition of the paradigm as a selective structure in a social communicative system of science implicitly defines that the communication within the system is language by nature. In this research, to separate it from linguistics, the focus is in the use of language in research context, not in language itself. In practice, the paradigms of research on ICT integration in education are analyzed through qualitative analysis of metaphors containing ontological assumptions of research and rhetoric convincing the scientific community of the scientific nature and the interest of research. The sample articles have been selected according to such a criteria that they can be seen representing the core of the scientific communication in the field.
From the education point of view, the mainstream of research on ICT integration in education has led to an immersion of the learning theoretical foundation of the research into techno-economic paradigms - and in a sense led to fading of broader educational and social perspectives. The mainstream of the research is shadowing the research that has social and cultural approaches and critical research interests related to a changing education system and global educational problems.
Although the research puts emphasis on constructive learning theories, techno-economic paradigms of the research field continue the tradition of instructional technology, which is framing the concept of "e-Education". This mainstream is not viable in solving the current problems of education globally. This is not to say that the research field of ICT in education is growing obsolete. On the contrary, the research is needed urgently but it should focus also on the broader educational and social developments in a global context.
Keywords: e-learning, e-oppiminen, ICT integration to education, Luhmann's social systems theory, Niklas Luhmannin sosiaalisten järjestelmien teoria, research paradigms, tieto- ja viestintätekniikan opetuskäyttö, tutkimusparadigma
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Acta Universitatis Ouluensis
Scientiae Rerum Socialium
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