23 SES 05 B, Policies and Practices of Evaluation of Quality in Education (Part 1)
Paper Session to be continued in 23 SES 06 B
Our study analyses Quality Assurance and Evaluation (QAE) in education as a tool of governance. QAE underlines a general dynamic in which the measurement in education facilitates the creation of categories for sorting the performance of individuals or organisations and for making decisions. QAE is associated with governance by data, the role of knowledge in education policies (Fenwick, Mangez and Ozga 2014), and how expert networks create the infrastructure for data flows (Lawn and Segerholm 2011). QAE functions through discoursive practices (Fejes, 2006; Walters & Haahr, 2005) enhancing the autonomy of the governed subjects (Ball, 2012, p. 34), and can be a successful means of enhancing central governance (Grek, et al., 2011). QAE is linked to the influence of international organisations to national policies, and how the international mainstream of quality-of-education policy is gaining ground (Simola, Rinne, Varjo, & Kauko, 2013). The question regarding how QAE reshapes governance resonates with the idea of steering-at-a-distance, which is partly contrary to the idea of domestication. Peter Dahler-Larsen (2011, pp. 152–153), refers to the ‘constitutive effects’ that shape ‘new realities’ when redefining actor relations.
The presentation focuses on education policies and practices, in which quality is fundamentally operationalized through standardized measurements, manifested in large-scale assessments (Ozga et al. 2011). As is evident from various large-scale assessments, the measuring of quality is pervasive in education. It is clear that quality is a very significant framing factor for education today. However, it is clear that quality is not defined and pursued per se, but is rather used as a more general means of governing. As long as quality as such is indefinable, its operationalisation assumes importance as a means of constructing its meaning. This, in fact, makes the measurement more important than the definition. Then again, the political enthusiasm easily sees large-scale assessments as the panacea to all ‘education ills’, while scholar skepticism sees them as tools for soft-governance projects.
Our presentation tries to bring the discussion further by looking empirically into what takes place in the aftermath of the domestic implementation of large-scale assessments at different levels of operation. The presentation reports a work-in-progress, and probes the effects of large-scale assessment on Brazilian education and education policy. Albeit the focus is on Brazil, the more general questions regarding the theoretical views of QAE and large-scale assessment will be raised to gain dialogue with European and international audience.
Ball, S. (2012). Global education inc. New policy networks and the neo-liberal imaginary. London and New York, NY: Routledge. Dahler-Larsen, P. (2011). Afterword. In O. Jenny, D.-L. Peter, S. Christina, & S. Hannu, Fabricating Quality in Education. Data and governance in Europe (pp. 151–159). London: Routledge. Fejes, A. (2006). The Bologna Process - Governing Higher Education in Europe through Standardisation. Revista Española de Educación Comparada, 12, 203–231. Fenwick, T., Mangez, E., & Ozga, J. (2014). Governing Knowledge: Comparison, Knowledge-Based Technologies and Expertise in the Regulation of Education. London: Routledge. Grek, S., Lawn, M., Lingard, B., Ozga, J., Rinne, R., Segerholm, C., & Simola, H. (2011). National policy brokering and the construction of the European education space in England, Sweden, Finland and Scotland. In J. Ozga, P. Dahler-Larsen, C. Segerholm, & H. Simola, Fabricating Quality in Education. Data and governance in Europe (pp. 47–65). London: Routledge. Lawn, M., & Segerholm, C. (2011). Europe through experts and technologies. In J. Ozga, P. Dahler-Larsen, C. Segerholm, & H. Simola, Fabricating Quality in Education. Data and governance in Europe (pp. 32–46). London: Routledge. Simola, H., Rinne, R., Varjo, J., & Kauko, J. (2013, 1 16). The paradox of the education race: how to win the ranking game by sailing to headwind. Journal of Education Policy. Tyack, D. & Cuban, L. (1995). Tinkering toward utopia: A century of public school reform. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Walters, W.;& Haahr, J. H. (2005). Governing Europe. Discourse, Governmentality and European Integration. Abingdon: Routledge.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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