08 SES 01, Network Invited Talk: Research highlights from Denmark
Network 8 Opening Session
With the 2014 Danish ‘Folkeskole’ reform the aim of strengthening pupil’s well-being is being placed on the schools agenda, closely related to the aim of strengthening pupil’s academic achievement. Both aims are to be followed up through yearly measurements included in governance processes taking place between schools, municipalities and government. This paper is focusing on the twinning of pupil’s well-being and their academic achievement in the reform, and is especially concerned with the introduction of national comparative measurements of pupil’s well-being as a central element in policy and governance of schooling. Comparative measurements of pupil’s academic achievements have become a part of the global ‘standard’ governance toolbox within education, hereunder through a benchmarking of results on classroom-, school-, and municipality levels (Carlsson 2017). Policy studies of comparative measurements within education point out that these generally are linked to a performance discourse and to economical steering (Meyer and Benavot 2013; Schwipper and Lenkeit 2012).
Drawing on the notion of policy ideas as vehicular ideas, open to multiple interpretations, the purpose of the study is to explore the value premises and rationales underlying the formulations of the well-being aim and its measurement in the reform policy texts. The twinning of well-being and academic achievement seems to be formulated as a vehicular idea, i.e. in a rather vague and open-ended way, similar to other ideas in education policy. A vehicular idea can be taken up in different ways toward various means, its hermeneutic and contextual flexibility providing it with an ability to balance between different interests in policy (McLennan 2004). As research within critical policy scholarship in education suggests, it’s well worth its time to examine the relationships between vehicular ideas, neoliberalization and policy mobility. McKenzie, Bieler and McNeil 2015), for instance, suggest that with the vague and open-ended understanding of sustainability in education policy, there is a risk of a relative dominance of a neoliberal framing of sustainability.
Common manifestations of neoliberalism in policy include references to market-based competition, and a rescaling of political authority from an emphasis on the state to that of ‘global policy’, which e.g. is constituted through measures of comparative performance (Lingard 2011; Peck 2013). Neoliberal governance in education draws on management technologies such as monitoring, benchmarking, publication of national and international ranking lists, and school inspections systems (Carlsson in press), enforcing a focus on accountability that enables oversight at a distance and fosters a culture of performativity (Lingard 2011; McKenzie, Bieler and McNeil 2015). Drawing on Peck’s (2011) notion of policy mobility, i.e. of ‘fast-policy’ regimes characterized by the pragmatic borrowing of ‘policies that work’, the paper points at the mobility of the idea of national comparative measurements as a solution to educational problems: With the reform this idea has moved into the area of well-being in schools, where problems previously mainly has been construed as related to social inequalities and solutions mainly focused on inclusion strategies (Atkinson and Joyce 2011; Kahn and Juster 2002). As Priestly and Biesta (2013) points out in a study of policy, governance and curriculum in the Scottish school reform, conflicting value arise in the tension between the economic concerns and imperatives in neo-liberal governance strategies in education, and democratic concerns.
Alfrey L & Brown TD (2013) Health literacy and the Australian Curriculum for Health and Physical Education: a marriage of convenience or a process of empowerment? Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, Volume 4(2): 159-173. Atkinson and Joyce (2011) The place and practices of well-being in local governance. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 2011, volume 29, pages 133-148. Bacchi C (2009) Analysing policy: Whatʼs the problem represented to be? Frenchs Forest. Bergh A & Englund, T (2014) A changed language of education with new actors and solutions: the authorization of promotion and prevention programmes in Swedish schools. Journal of Curriculum Studies Volume 46, Issue 6: 778-797 Carlsson, M. (in press) The use of tests in evaluation within education. (Brugen af test i evaluering indenfor uddannelse), Educational science (Uddannelsesvidenskab). (red) Jonas Andreasen Lysgaard; Anders Kruse Ljungdalh; Oliver Alexander Tafdrup, Roskilde University Publisher. Danish Clearinghouse for Educational Research (2014) Research review. Teaching environment and well-being. Report to Danish Ministry of Education. Danish Ministry of Education (2013) Agreement on strengthening academic achievement in primary school. http://www.uvm.dk/Uddannelser/Folkeskolen/Folkeskolens-maal-love-og-regler/Politiske-oplaeg-og-aftaler Danish Ministry of Education (2016b) Recommendations from the expert group on well-being in schools, http://uvm.dk/Uddannelser/Folkeskolen/Laering-og-laeringsmiljoe/Trivsel-og-undervisningsmiljoe/Ekspertgruppen-om-elevernes-trivsel Danish Center for Teaching Environment (2016) The annual well-being measurement (Den årlige trivselmåling). http://dcum.dk/grundskole/love-regler-og-anvisninger/trivselsmaaling/den-aarlige-trivselsmaaling Lingard, B. (2011) Policy as numbers: ac/Counting for Educational Research. The Australian Educational Researcher 38:355-382. Kahn and Juster (2002) Well-being: Concepts and Measures. Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 58, No. 4, 2002, pp. 627-644. Meyer, H-D. & Benavot, A. (eds.) (2013) PISA, Power and Policy. The emergence of global educational governance. Symposium books: UK McLennan, G. (2004) Travelling with vehicular ideas: The case of the third Way, Economy and Society, 33:4, 484-499, DOI: 10.1080/0308514042000285251 McKenzie M, Bieler A, McNeil R (2015) Education policy mobility: reimagining sustainability in neoliberal times. Environmental Education Research, vol. 221, no 3: 319-337. Peck, J. (2011) Geographies of policy: From transfer-diffusion to mobility mutation. Progress in Human Geography, 35(6) 773-797. Priestly, M., & Biesta, G. (eds.) Reinventing the curriculum: New Trends in Curriculum Policy and Practice. Bloomsbury Academic, London. Schwipper, K. & Lenkeit, J. (2012) Progress in reading literacy in national and international context. The impact of Pirls 2006 in 12 countries. Münster: Waxmann.
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
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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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