The Persuasive Power of Figures and the Aesthetics of the Dirty Backyards of Statistics in Educational Research
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This chapter focuses upon the varying contexts empirical educational research knowledge is embedded in and how this knowledge becomes subject to processes of de- and re-contextualisations according to expectations of the respective social groups it refer to. On the one side, there is an aesthetics of representation of educational research knowledge and of the rhetorically persuasive power of figures and graphic accounts, an aesthetics of providing answers. On the other side, there is an aesthetics of deconstructive scepticism and of epistemological relativism, an aesthetics of raising questions. The combination of both aesthetic forms and the provocation of both giving answers and raising questions in a formalised educational research presentation are related to two further aspects of aesthetics the chapter will focus upon. We will analyse a more rhetorical and a more epistemological focusing on two areas: (a) (oral) presentations of educational research projects (from a more microanalytical perspective) and (b) (written) publications addressing the knowledge society or educational research outcomes from large-scale assessment studies (from a more macroanalytical perspective).