28 SES 09 A, Time for Change? For a Temporal Turn in the Sociological Study of Education and Europe (Part 2)
Symposium continued from 28 SES 08 A
In the sociologies of education, the European integration process has been primarily understood as the crystallisation of an emerging policy space, that both transcends the limits of its geographical borders and increasingly redefines modern statehood (Nóvoa and Lawn, 2002). This spatial perspective has given rise to research approaches that focus on the interweaving of national educational systems with transnational political governance, in light of Europeanizing agendas and practices aiming to commensurate Europe’s educational panorama. Europeanisation and education thus commonly appeared together against the background of a globalising world society, populated by nation-states and transnational organisations. This symposium wishes to advance a complimentary, but different perspective on Europeanisation. Rather than highlighting the spatial dimension of the Europeanizing process, it wishes to demonstrate the relevance of a temporal turn in the sociologies of education.
Education has always been a matter of time and change. Both are presupposed by the intent to teach and the willingness to learn. Within the national context for instance, the centrality of the curriculum stems from its capacity to structure, shape and project that time as the specific, temporal horizon of education processes and desired learning outcomes. National curricula arrange time in class hours, schooldays and yearly cohorts, but even more importantly, they establish what the past can teach to future generations (Forquin, 2008). It has been observed that when education shifts perspectives towards transnational, European or even global levels, that past increasingly seems to lose relevance when understood as continuity, as tradition (McEneaney and Meyer, 2000). Instead, in policy – as in education – the discontinuity expected to result from a future deemed open and undetermined becomes an endless resource for the development of new political and educational (re)forms (cf. Shackle, 1990). Indeterminacy becomes a motivator and justificans for such policies and educational (re)forms that seek to anticipate an unexpected future (cf. Weick and Sutcliffe, 2006). Vice versa, these forms and reforms rely on their capacity to project a future that makes available sufficient possibilities to orient our present choices (cf. Corsi and Esposito, 2005).
In this symposium, a wide variety of theoretical viewpoints will be mobilised to accentuate and scrutinize the temporal dimension of education and education policy. In particular, how temporality is constitutive in the fabrication of Europe’s relation to education will be matter of focal attention. The contributors will outline possible answers to the following guiding questions: Which sorts of time are generated by EU education policies? Which sorts of time are, conversely, put into the shadows? What future is anticipated by its present governance? How is contemporary education creating particular forms of presents, pasts and futures? How does the time of education relate to the time of policy? How are progress, acceleration and time related in reform processes? Each of the contributors will outline the contribution of a different theoretical framework (e.g. Foucaultian, Latourian, Luhmannian, et al.) to these sorts of questions, so as to make explicit how those different approaches might enable a distinct understanding.
Corsi G and Esposito E (eds) (2005) Reform und Innovation in einer unstabilen Gesellschaft. Stuttgart: Lucius & Lucius. Forquin J-C (2008) Sociologie du curriculum. PU Rennes. McEneaney EH and Meyer JW (2000) The Content of the Curriculum. In: Hallinan MT (ed.), Handbook of the Sociology of Education. An Institutionalist Perspective, New York: Springer, pp. 189–211. Nóvoa A and Lawn M (eds) (2002) Fabricating Europe. The Formation of an Education Space. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Shackle GLS (1990) Time, expectations, and uncertainty in economics. Ford JL (ed.), Aldershot: Edward Elgar. Weick KE and Sutcliffe KM (eds) (2006) Managing the Unexpected: Assuring high Performance in an Age of Complexity. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
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