on_education was born out of a nagging feeling of discomfort with the present culture of debate. Education is a highly controversial and contested issue, but enduring conflict and political debate, it seems, are not always cherished virtues in academia. We offer a space for taking positions – and are convinced that positioning opens up a space ’beyond’ academic research. We wish to push the established boundaries between quantitative and qualitative schools of thought, micro and macro approaches, theoretical and empirical research – and stimulate new, possibly surprising alignments. We do not yet know what exactly we are helping to create with on_education – but are attracted by the ambiguity and indeterminacy of it all. We hope that our readers will be as open-minded, committed and curious as we are!