23 SES 07 C, Policy Development in Diverse Contexts (Part 1)
Paper Session to be continued in 23 SES 08 C
Historically, public policy—including, and indeed perhaps especially, education policies in the domain of language and literacy—were developed in and for their national settings, shaped by and reflecting debates tied up with national values and identities. As instruments of governance, such texts gained their legitimacy unambiguously through the authority of national governments.
Although the domain of languages and literacy continues to be fundamentally a matter for nations to address in the development and execution of policy, the global movement of people, ideas, and capital has created transnational spaces for education. As Rizvi and Lingard (2010, p. 14) have asserted with regard to education policy, ‘the scalar framing of policy discourses and texts has extended beyond the nation; the context of policy texts is now multilayered.’ This is not to suggest that the authority of the nation state in determining languages and literacy education policy has been transferred to a transnational agent, but rather that the formation and enactment of such policy needs to be understood as being situated within multi-scalular global systems. National debates and contestations—and the national policy formations that follow—are inflected with transnational debates and discourses like those emanating from the OECD (especially PISA (OECD, 2014)), the World Bank, the Council of Europe (2001), etc. We argue that if we are to understand which languages and literacy education policies operate within any nation state, and what effects they have, we need new methodological tools to better identify and analyse policies as they operate in and across local, regional, national, and global dimensions, and to be alert to how those dimensions may be animated in distinctive ways within the local.
This paper draws on three language and literacy education domains—adult literacy, mother tongue language, and world languages—to explore the research question:
- To what extent are ‘policy ensembles’ a useful methodological tool to examine globalizing processes in the production of policy across transnational spaces and scales?
In conceiving of ‘policy ensemble’, we follow Ball (2006), Ozga (2000), and others in taking a broad view of what constitutes policy. Specifically, we follow Ball in thinking about education policy in terms of a ‘policyscape’, rather than focusing on the trajectories of individual policies—a key point of contrast with conventional approaches to policy analyses within the field of language policy and planning (LPP).
Our interest in ‘policy ensembles’ are the affordances it offers by focusing not only on official policy texts, but also their related discursive practices—as expressed as curricular intent—to understand global influences on how language and literacy is conceived more broadly within national spaces; irrespective of whether their express purpose are to articulate languages and literacy education policy or not.
Ball, S.J. (2006). Education Policy and Social Class. London: Routledge. Council of Europe. (2001). Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Lingard, B. (2010). Policy borrowing, policy learning: Testing times in Australian schooling. Critical. Studies in Education, 51(2), 129-147. OECD. (2014), PISA 2012 Results: What Students Know and Can Do – Student Performance in Mathematics, Reading and Science (Volume I, Revised edition, February 2014). Paris, France: Author. Ozga, J. (2000). Policy Research In Educational Settings: Contested Terrain. Buckingham: Open University Press. Rizvi, F. & Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing Education Policy. Routledge: London. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (Ed.). (2004). The global politics of educational borrowing and lending, New York, NY: Teachers’ College Press.
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