23 SES 10C, Policy Scholarship (Singh 1)
Symposium to be continued in 23 SES 11 C
Topic: International organisations such as the OECD and World Bank, with headquarters in Europe, are major players in the global education reform movement (GERM). Teacher survey instruments and student testing programs produced by these agencies are increasingly shaping national education agendas, and governing the lives of school leaders, teachers and students. Education systems and institutions are being reformed along business lines, and are increasingly inundated with data, including international and national standardised testing data, diagnostic test data, parent satisfaction surveys, and teacher performance reviews.
There is now an extensive body of literature on educational governance through metrics and public reportage of student testing data. Much of this literature deploys Foucault’s (1989) theories of governance and subjectivity as explanatory devices of local school affects/effects of globalised education policy practices. For example, in his much cited paper, Ball (2003) writes of the terrorizing practices of data performativity and the ontological insecurity experienced by teachers subjected to constant education reforms. . However, Ball (2015) has recently argued that his earlier work may have been too simplistic, flattening, and generated a one-dimensional theory of subject formation and teacher professional identities.
Objective: In this symposium, we take up the call to develop complex theories of policy subjectivities and global educational governance by revisiting and reworking Basil Bernstein’s theoretical oeuvre.
Conceptual/Theoretical Framework: In terms of theory innovation, the six papers extensively rework Bernstein’s concepts of: speech codes; pedagogic discourse, recontextualisation, pedagogic identities, and policy affects (Bernstein, 2001; 2000). Each of the papers trace the development of Bernstein’s theoretical ideas over four decades, and in particular focus on elaborating those ideas that remained in sketch or embryonic form. Each of the papers focuses on the complex and dynamic relations of control, that is, the interactional and locational communication principles which contest and challenge power relations. While there is increasing research attention on theorising control relations by scholars of education policy and education sociology, few scholars have explored the potential of elaborating Bernstein’s theories of symbolic control in dialogue with the theoretical ideas of Deleuze and Guattari (see Braidotti & Pisters, 2012). Some of the papers in this symposium focus on this theoretical task. In addition, some of the papers draw on feminist scholarship on ambivalence in thinking about policy subjectivities and teachers’ professional identities.
Ambivalence refers to affective states in which contradictory or mutually exclusive desires or ideas are each invested with intense emotional energy. Although one cannot have both simultaneously one cannot abandon either of them. Such ambivalence is not necessarily a symptom of weakness or confusion ... It is often a strength to resist collapsing and contradictory material into an orderly whole (Flax, 1990: 50-54).
Methods: The research approaches work in the dialogic space or gap between theory and empirical data, what Bernstein (2001) referred to as the different research languages of description. We propose that this theory-methodological space offers potential for engaging in discussions with the ethical-ontological-epistemological approaches advocated in the post-qualitative, new material feminist scholarship (see Barad, 2007; Lather, 2016; Law, 2004)
Research Questions: How are education institutions, across England, Scotland, Greece, Cyprus, France and Australia responding to the global accountability reform agenda? What types of institutional pedagogic identities are being constructed through continuous processes of change? How can Basil Bernstein’s sociological ideas be revised and re-animated to think with and about global education changes and local affects? How do the different research languages of theory and methods work together to intervene in policy practices?
Ball, S. J. (2003). The teacher's soul and the terrors of performativity. Journal of Education Policy, 18(2), 215-228. doi:10.1080/0268093022000043065 Ball, S. J. (2015). Subjectivity as a site of struggle: refusing neoliberalism? British Journal of Sociology of Education, iFirst, 1-18. doi:10.1080/01425692.2015.1044072 Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity. Theory, Research, Critique. Revised Edition. (2nd ed.). Lanham, Boulder, New York, Oxford: Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Bernstein, B. (2001). Symbolic Control: issues of empirical description of agencies and agents. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 4(1), 21-33. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13645570118017 Braidotti, R., & Pisters, P. (Eds.). (2012). Revisiting Normativity with Deleuze. London: Bloomsbury. Flax, J. (1990). Thinking Fragments. Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Postmodernism in the Contemporary West. Berkely, California: University of California Press. Foucault, M. (1988). The Care of the Self. The History of Sexuality. Volume 3. New York: Vintage Books. Lather, P. (2016). (Re)Thinking Ontology in (Post)Qualitative Research. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, 1-7. doi:10.1177/1532708616634734 Law, J. (2004). After Method. Mess in social science research. London, New York: Routledge.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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