28 SES 02, Standards, Knowledges and Assessment
The paper discusses the external evaluation of Portuguese schools, one of several devices in the evaluation system of non-higher education in Portugal (since the beginning of this century) through the analytical input of ‘policy instruments’ (Lascoumes & Le Galès, 2007, Lascoumes & Simard, 2011). This approach allows us to analyse the external evaluation as a political technology: a "technical and social" device, inhabited by rules and procedures aimed at providing stability and predictability to action, in the education sector. Also, it allows the external evaluation to be studied as an analyser of the re-composition of the State intervention; as well as to capture interests, ideas and knowledge involved in the trajectory of production and change of this political technology.
Specifically, the paper discusses the making and remaking of the official model of the external evaluation of schools in two key moments: the production of its first version, in 2006, by a small joint committee (composed of experts associated with higher education and former senior staff of the public administration); its revision and updating, in 2011, also by a joint committee, but then wider, half of it made up of members of the administration body responsible for conducting the external evaluation in Portugal - the General Inspectorate of Education and Science.
The paper examines the making, and remaking, of the object through the prism of hybridization. In the context of the debates on globalization, the concept of hybridization has been present itself as an alternative to approaches focusing on the role of "forces of homogenization", and also to parochial visions of "national culture" (Pieterse, 2000). In the field of educational research, the studies about the transnational circulation of policies show the relevance of mediation, reinterpretation and contextualization processes, as well as the resulting effects of hybridization and bricolage (e.g., van Zanten & Ball, 2000 Ozga & Jones, 2006 Steiner-Khamsi, 2004, 2012). The concept has also been used to characterize the tension between hyper-bureaucratic, professional-bureaucratic and post-bureaucratic policy models, resulting of which hybrid forms of the government of education (Maroy, 2009).
The paper grasps some specific questions related with the use of hybridization as an analytical device, like: how does it take place, in which contexts, with which forms, and with which consequences (Rizvi & Lingard, 2009). Therefore, it examines the making (and remaking) of a ‘knowledge-based’ and ‘knowledge-oriented regulation instrument’ (Pons & van Zanten, 2007) as processes of recombination and reshaping of social and cultural elements. Thus, the paper works at hypothesis according to which the trajectory of the instrument is marked both by homogenizing forces exerted by standardizers (Brunsson & Jacobsson, 2000) that put into circulation, often on a transnational scale, rules about 'how to do' evaluation of schools, such as the effect of its appropriation by heterogeneous actors (in their knowledge, ideas and resources for action), and according to the specificities of the systems of meanings and power relations of the contexts in which they intervene (Popkewitz, 2000).
The study gives special attention to the set of social logics and diverse knowledge that are present in the production of the evaluation model in two moments of its trajectory, and develops around two axes of analysis. The first - centered on the actors - considers the members of committees, created in 2006 and 2011, in order to describe the diversity of social worlds and the knowledge that have been involved in. The second – centered on knowledge - considers sources and types of knowledge mobilized for the construction of the evaluation models and their relationship with the problematization of educational reality and the modes of its social administration.
Brunsson, N. & Jacobsson, B. (2000). “The contemporary expansion of standardization”. In Brunsson, N., Jacobsson, B. and associates, A World of Standards (1-17). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lascoumes, P. & Le Galès, P. (2007) “Introduction: understanding public policy through its instruments – from the nature of instruments to the sociology of public policy instrumentation”. Governance, 20(1): 1-21. Lascoumes, P. & Simard, L. (2011). “L’action publique au prisme de ses instruments”. Revue Française de Science Politique, 6 (1): 5-22. Maroy, C. (2009). “Convergences and hybridization of educational policies around ‘post‐bureaucratic’ models of regulation”. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 39 (1): 71-84 Ozga, J. & Jones, R. (2006). “Travelling and embedded policy: the case of knowledge transfer”. Journal of Education Policy, 21(1): 1-17. Pieterse, J. N. (2000 ). “Globalization as hybridization”. In F. Lechner & J. Boli (eds.) The Globalization Reader (99-105). Oxford. Blackwell Publishers Inc. Pons, X. and van Zanten, A. (2006) ‘Knowledge circulation, regulation and governance’. KNOWandPOl report. Available at: http://www.knowandpol.eu/IMG/pdf/lr.tr.pons_vanzanten.eng.pdf Popkewitz, Thomas S. (2000), “Globalization/regionalization, knowledge and the restructuring of education”. In T.S. Popkewitz (ed.), Educational Knowledge (3-27). Albany: State University of New York. Rizvi, F. & Lingard, B. (2009). Globalizing Education Policy. London: Routledge. Steiner-Khamsi, G., ed. (2004). The Global Politics of Educational Borrowing and Lending. New York: Teachers College Press. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2012). “Understanding policy borrowing and lending: building comparative policy studies”. In G. Steiner-Khamsi, & F. Waldow (eds.), World Yearbook of Education 2012: Policy borrowing and lending in education (1–17). London: Routledge. van Zanten, A. & Ball, S. J. (2000). “Comparer pour comprendre: globalisation, reinterpretations nationales et recontextualisations locales”. Revue de l’Institut de Sociologie, 1(4): 112-131.
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