A Reading on Four Registers: Educational Reforms, Democratic Cultures, Research Methodologies, and the Question of the Posts

  • Erik Malewski


This essay situates educational reform discourse with its emphasis on transparent understanding and philosophies of control in tension with post-structural and critical discourse suspicious of correct readings and generalizable claims. Employing the idea of “cross reading” research projects to map the friction between texts that fix interpretations and those that incite a proliferation of readings, the essay argues for explicitly using issues of omission, misrecognition, and mishaps to unsettle conceptions of research into educational reform. What these tensions might mean for conducting school-based research is addressed on four registers that assist in moving with and through contemporary instrumental knowledge claims: from dualisms toward  complexities, sneaky kid and reading difference differently, reform as deliberative art, and post-reconceptualization in post-post times. The essay concludes with a tentative exploration of a trilectical educational praxis that positions inconceivability as a performative site for thinking through educational reform in as-yet unknown ways.