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Educational Research: Language and Content. Lessons in Publication Policies from the Low Countries

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Owing to the growing internationalisation of research, educational researchers in the Netherlands are increasingly expected to publish through the medium of the English language. Though this undoubtedly benefits the communication between scholars, there are also side-effects. This paper discusses problematic issues from three perspectives: (i) the use of a non-native language for communication between scholars in the area of education; (ii) the use either exclusively, or not, of a publication record of such publications for purposes of recruitment and promotion of staff; (iii) the relationships between research groups of different disciplines and/or universities. It will be argued that the demand to publish exclusively in a non-native language has damaging effects as far as the context of education is concerned. Not only will it lead to a denial of one’s own background and culture, but the uniformisation, (which is the result of it), will also stifle the rich educational landscape by allowing the publication only of items of international interest. The model of the natural sciences is not adequate for the context of education because of the necessarily more local character of the content of educational problems and production of strategies to deal with these. Thus it will become clear that the integrity of the educational researcher is at stake as the research area is selected.

Keywords: Netherlands; language; publication

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Catholic University of Leuven, 2: University of Utrecht

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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