ERG SES C 02, PechaKucha Poster Session
The poster shows questions, methods and findings of a research project, on which my PhD-Thesis is based. The project (members: Maria Wolf, Institute of Education, Hermann Mitterhofer, Institute for Psychosocial Intervention and Communication Research) examined the discourse on a new general principle of education, which lies beneath current reforms of the Austrian school systems within the last ten years.
Using the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (Keller 2005) as method, the project follows the assumption that tendencies and discourses in society shape current forms of learning in pedagogic institutions. As Keller (2005, p. 14) notes, discourses propose “positions for actors engaging in knowledge production and circulation as well as opportunity structures for using symbols to say things or to create the dispositional prerequisites for power effects”. This means, dominant agents can form a dispositif in order to influence ways of praxis in schools, on the one hand in enacting laws and on the other hand, in production and positioning of knowledge. In order to analyze the current general principle of education, the research in the first step analyses official documents like acts on school reforms, curricula, decrees, directives, circular letters and other forms derived from the learning-apparatus, the ministries or subordinated public authorities. In the second step, the dominant interpretative scheme (Deutungsmuster) found in this documents are linked to a broader and historical discursive field, in order to analyze where certain elements of the interpretative scheme come from, how they became dominant in the dispositif and what processes of modification and regulations can be identified. Analyzing the rules of discourses can answer the question of power structures in the learning apparatus and so an interpretation can be made as to what interests the reform process in schools serves.
Within the last ten years, the main fields of the discourse on a new general principle of education can be classified in three particular topics, which are analyzed further: First, the question of individualization in education and equal opportunities; second, the demand for making learning fun; third, the focusing on the term competence in schools curricula and centralized school leaving examinations. Within these particular lines of discourses both the aspect of knowledge production and concrete legislative procedures can be described. Therefore we intend to find common elements and interpretations of how a general principle of education and learning are formed up in the analyzed documents by the learning apparatus.
The poster presents
- Questions and objective of the research project
- The theoretical framework – what does a discursive perspective imply for pedagogical research, what can be told about the praxis by analyzing documents, what is a dispositif?
- Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse as method and the research design (what documents are chosen and how they are analyzed)
- An overview over reforms, knowledge production and discourses on particular focus on the three lines of discourses (Diskursstränge)
- An interpretation as to what dominant interpretative scheme (Deutungsmuster) can be found in the ways a general principle of education is being described
References: Brandmayr, M. (2015): Die verborgenen Mechanismen politischer Bildung: Zum Verhältnis von Struktur und Inhalt am Beispiel des Basiskonzepts Macht. in: Momentum Quaterly - Zeitschrift für Sozialen Fortschritt Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 147-160 Foucault, M.: "The order of discourse," translated by Ian McLeod in R. Young (ed.) (1981): Untying the Text : a Poststructuralist Reader. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. 48-78. Foucault, M. (1972a). The archeology of knowledge. London: Routledge [first published in French 1969]. Keller, R. (2011): The Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD). Human Studies, 34(1), 43–65. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41478455. Date accessed: 14 Jan. 2016 Keller, R: Analysing Discourse. An Approach From the Sociology of Knowledge. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, Vol. 6, No. 3/2005. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/19/41. Date accessed: 14 Jan. 2016
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