the article discusses the repercussions that the debate around the overcoming of modernity and the supposed coming of postmodernity has brought to education as a field of knowledge, and more particularly to the research in this field. a critical discussion is made of the thesis that we live in postmodernity, placing emphasis on this statement in the sphere of social thinking, especially for understanding that such expression does not have the strength and intensity of a philosophical concept, resulting devoid of meaning. it is stressed that of the first uses of that expression in the field of philosophy, by lyotard, was as an adjective, and not as a noun, which is significantly different. moving beyond the debate about the end of modernity or otherwise, the notion of hypermodernity proposed by lipovetsky is adopted as a way of characterizing the contemporary world and trying to understand its implications. notwithstanding that, the author recognizes the important contributions of the thesis that affirms postmodernity, especially in its epistemological and political aspects, in so far as it represents a shift of the focus of analysis. the text characterizes the current debate as the tension between two images of the thought that are not at all new, but that have gained special attention in contemporaneity, defending that we must accept this tension in what it brings in terms of a creative possibility, without paralyzing the thought.