28 SES 06 B, Software, Standards and School-Building Programmes
The importance of understanding surveillance practices in contemporary society is evident from the recent swell in publications in this field over the past decade. In the wake of David Lyon’s ground breaking text The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society (1994), a proliferation of highly influential books have emerged, including: The Maximum Surveillance Society (Norris & Armstrong, 1999), The Intensification of Surveillance (Kirstie Ball & Webster, 2003), and the edited collection of essays in the Handbook of Surveillance Studies (Kirstie Ball, Haggerty, & Lyon, 2012).
Surveillance also gives rise to ethical issues connected to, for example, the right to privacy and the implication of having values and norms both enforced and reinforced via a technological interface. Palm (2009) states that employees have the right to a protected sphere also at work, and that the negative impact on an inadequate protection for personal integrity not only applies to the individual but to the organizational goals and society at large.
However, while each of these texts addresses the broad issues that arise with the growing use of surveillance in contemporary society, none of them adequately tackle the issue of surveillance in education. Although the issue of monitoring student behavior and academic progress is not new, the use of new technologies to surveil students and teachers bring with them new narratives and practices that demand consideration (Michael, 2013). When surveillance is used for other purposes than intended this is termed “surveillance creep” (Taylor, 2013).
Due to recent technological developments, practices of technology-enhanced surveillance in schools are flourishing and thus there is reason to consider how these affect education and relationships in school. Various kinds of software with surveillance capabilities is used by many schools today (cf. Andreasson & Dovemark, 2013), yet very little empirical research has been conducted on the impact of surveillance technologies in schools or on educational practices. Dataveillance means surveilling electronic data for the purpose of monitoring someone’s communication or (in)action. This paper focuses specifically on principals’ use of dataveillance software in relation to teachers, using a case study to explore which software is used, how and for which purposes.
Dataveillance systems are introduced in order to promote efficient and secure services to schools with part of the package related to student learning, such as learning management systems, student dashboards and performance feedback (Hope, 2015). As Hope argues, as state schools become increasingly marketised, the school dataveillance market in turn expands. In one of the very few articles on Swedish conditions, Andreasson and Dovemark (2013) show that dataveillance systems shape students’ and staff identities by their role in governing processes and activities.
Principals’ role in the educational enterprise has been highlighted in several instances (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012). As Ball et al. hold, when schools are being labeled as ‘outstanding’, ‘coasting’ or ‘failing’ in relation to the discourse of standards which represents a particular, and at large undisputable, vision of what schooling ought to be (S. J. Ball, Maguire, & Braun, 2012) it becomes an imperative to solve the “policy problem of becoming a ‘good’ school” (p. 130) which in turn produce efforts to call up the ‘good’ teacher.
The paper draws on socio-material theory which entails viewing interaction in schools as more than social processes, but materializing processes in and with material objects. They involve envisioning, enacting and experiencing education in relation to material, social and discursive aspects (Mulcahy, Cleveland, & Aberton, 2015). What separates the sociomaterial from other theoretical approaches is the attention to how spatial and material entities are involved as actors in the educational environment, such as ICT (Fenwick, Edwards, & Sawchuk, 2011).
Andreasson, Ingela, & Dovemark, Marianne. (2013). Transforming Insecurity into a Commodity: using the digital tools Unikum and InfoMentor as an example in Swedish education. European Educational Research Journal, 12(4), 480-491. Ball, Kirstie, & Webster, Frank (Eds.). (2003). The intensification of surveillance: crime, terrorism and warfare in the information age. . London: Pluto. Ball, Kirstie, Haggerty, Kevin D, & Lyon, David. (2012). Routledge handbook of surveillance studies. London: Routledge. Ball, Stephen J, Maguire, Meg, & Braun, Annette (2012). How Schools Do Policy: Policy Enactments in Secondary Schools London & New York: Routledge. Charmaz, Kathy. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory. A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: SAGE. Creswell, John W., & Plano Clark, Vicki L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications. Fenwick, T. J, Edwards, R, & Sawchuk, P. (2011). Emerging approaches to educational research: tracing the sociomaterial (T. J Fenwick, R Edwards, & P Sawchuk Eds.). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Grannäs, Jan, & Frelin, Anneli. (2016). The production of “An equal school with high quality” – Municipal responses to reforms aimed at excellence and equity. Paper presented at the NERA, Helsinki. Grannäs, Jan, & Frelin, Anneli. (in press). Spaces of student support - comparing educational environments from two time periods. Improving schools. Hargreaves, Andy , & Fullan, Michael. (2012). Professional capital: transforming teaching in every school. New York: Routledge. Hope, Andrew. (2015). Governmentality and the ‘selling’ of school surveillance devices. The Sociological Review, 63(4), 840-857. Lyon, David (1994). The electronic eye: the rise of surveillance society. Oxford: Polity. Michael, K. (2013). Big Data and Policing: The Pros and Cons of Using Situational Awareness for Proactive Criminalisation. . Canberra, Australia: Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security: Human Rights and Policing Conference. Mulcahy, Dianne, Cleveland, Ben, & Aberton, Helen. (2015). Learning spaces and pedagogic change: envisioned, enacted and experienced. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 23(4), 575-595. Norris, Clive, & Armstrong, Gary. (1999). The maximum surveillance society. Oxford: Berg. Palm, Elin. (2009). Privacy Expectations at Work—What is Reasonable and Why? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 12(2), 201-215. Selwyn, Neil. (2016). ‘There’s so much data’: Exploring the realities of data-based school governance. European Educational Research Journal, 15(1), 54–68. Taylor, Emmeline. (2013). Surveillance Schools: Security, Discipline and Control in Contemporary Education. Hampshire, England: Palgrave Macmillan. Yin, Robert K. (2009). Case study research: design and methods (2. ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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