23 SES 05 C, Dominant Discourses and Higher Education Reforms
Since the beginning of the 2000s the Higher Education (H.E.) sector has been set on a new trajectory as it has become an essential ingredient in key EU priorities promoting competitiveness, sustainability and social cohesion. Within a context heavily regulated by supranational agents and through the deployment of governance technologies fostered by the prevalent ‘audit culture’ (Power,1994), national education systems make efforts to align their policies to Lisbon-induced imaginaries and organizational structures.
In this context of broad global/regional dynamics which, as a growing body of literature suggests, aim at "pedagogising" institutions and local actors, the development of an international dimension (Knight, 2004; Altbach and Knight, 2007) and the enhancement of mobility are emphasized. They seem to be reconfigured as essential components in the institutions’ as well as the academics' efforts to raise their competitiveness globally, interconnect, and become part of the global market. A variety of rationales for enhancing mobility across Europe has been put forward by the European Commission and its commitment is restated in statements such as “by 2020 at least 20% of all graduates from the European Higher Education Area should have spent a period of time studying or training abroad”.
A significant issue relevant to such processes is the language question. It is obvious that English has developed into the de facto linguistic code to mediate communication in our globalised world (Coupland, 2010). Efforts to deal with linguistic diversity in Europe and beyond have resulted in linguistic homogeneity through the widespread use of English. Scholars have pointed out that this tendency is a basic misconception of internationalisation (de Wit, 2011) or that it constitutes the “paradox of internationalisation” (Haberland, 2011). This phenomenon has far-reaching implications since language is essential for communication and meaning-making but most importantly because “..it is at the heart of all forms of cultural production and identity making” (Robertson, 2016).
In light of the above, this paper is centred on the shifts of knowledge and power relations which redraw boundaries reconstituting ‘legitimate’ knowledge in a 'reformed' HE space and the respective 'legitimate' academic practices. The aim is to trace how the nature of language–related knowledge as a competitive advantage for individuals and institutions is redefined at the local/institutional level in the context of internationalisation and mobility. More specifically, we investigate how power relations operate within processes of recontextualisation at local sites and how mid-level policy-makers, located in institutions, respond to dominant discourses on HE reforms that entail issues about language for education and language for participating in the global production and reproduction of knowledge.
Our theoretical framework is grounded in Foucault’s notions of discourse and governmentality (Foucault, 1991) and Bernstein’s theory on pedagogic discourse (Bernstein, 2000). We maintain that the “regimes of truth and knowledge”, produced by the dominant discourses of governance and higher education reform, are the means through which educational professionals govern themselves and others (Ball, 1994). In order to analyse the micro level of educational practices we draw from Bernstein's theory of the pedagogic device referring to the rules of distribution, recontextualisation and evaluation of knowledge in pedagogic contexts (Bernstein, 2000; Singh, 2002; Singh et al, 2013). Through this, we attempt to explore how new forms of knowledge and pedagogical processes and new forms of power relations are relayed at local sites, reconstructing academic spaces of practice. We look into the positions mid-level policy actors take, the resources they draw upon and the 'orientations' to knowledge that they privilege in order to identify shifts in the understanding of knowledge and trace the processes of identity formation.
Altbach,P. and J.Knight. (2007) The internationalization of higher education: motivations and realities. Journal of Studies in International Educatio, 11:3, 290-305. Ball,S.J. (1994). Education reform. A critical and post-structural approach. Buckingham: Open University Press. Ball, S.J., Maguire, M., and A. Braun.( 2012). How schools do policy. London:Routledge. Bernstein,B. (2000). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity. Theory, research, critique. Revised edition, New York, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Coupland,N. (2010). The Handbook of Language and Globalisation. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Curry, M. J., & T. Lillis. (2004). Multilingual scholars and the imperative to publish in English: Negotiating interests, demands, and rewards. TESOL Quarterly, 38, 666–688. De Wit, H.(2011). Internationalisation of Higher Education: Nine Misconceptions. International Higher Education,64:6-7. Foucault, M. (1991). Governmentality. In: G. Burchell, C. Gordon, and P. Miller (eds) The Foucault effect. Studies in Governmentality. Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 87-104. Haberland,H.(2011).Local languages as the languages of internationalisation: internationalisation and language choice. Intercultural Educational Review, 9:37-47. Henkel, M. (2005) Academic identity and autonomy in a changing policy environment. Higher Education,48(1), 155-176. Kedzierski, M. (2016). English as a medium of instruction in East Asia’s higher education sector: a critical realist Cultural Political Economy analysis of underlying logics.Comparative Education, 52:3, 375-391. Knight, J. (2004). Internationalization remodeled: Definition, approaches, and rationales Journal of Studies in International Education, 8(1): 5–31. Middleton,S. (2008) Research assessment as a pedagogical device:Bernstein, professional identity and Education in New Zealand. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29:2, 125-136. Power,M. (1994). The audit explosion. London:Demos Robertson, L.S. & M. Kedzierski. (2016) On the move: globalising higher education in Europe and beyond. The Language Learning Journal, 44:3,276-291. Sarakinioti, A. (2012). Knowledge and Identities in the context of European Higher Education Policy: The case of teacher education curricula in Greece. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis. Department of Social and Education Policy, University of the Peloponnese (In Greek). Singh, P., Thomas, S., and Harris, J., 2013. Recontextualising policy discourses: a Bernsteinian perspective on policy interpretation, translation, enactment. Journal of education policy, 28 (4), 465–480. Sarakinioti, A. & Tsatsaroni, A. (2015). European education policy initiatives and teacher education curriculum reforms in Greece. Education Inquiry (EDUI), 6(3):259-288. Singh, P. (2002) Pedagogising knowledge: Bernstein’s theory of the pedagogic device. British journal of sociology of education, 23 (4), 571-582. Singh,P. (2015) Performativity and Pedagogizing Knowledge:Globalising Educational Policy Formation, Dissemination, and Enactment. Journal of Education Policy, 30(3), 363-384.
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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