23 SES 12 C, International Comparisons
How knowledge is valued by society can be described in terms of a discourse where legitimation of different kinds of knowledge is put in the fore. PISA has proven to have an enormous impact on the education policy debate at worldwide level (Hopmann 2007, Ozga m.fl. 2010). A central factor in this development is how media has handled PISA-results by granting the study continuous consideration, bringing it, and educational issues to the public awareness. Studies of media from the early years of PISA have shown how media did not only act as simple “mediators” of the results of PISA in a range of countries but often operated as proactive agents of policy orientations (Figazzolo 2007, Grek 2008, Stack 2006, Waldow et al. 2014). This paper takes a starting point in the emergence of a “comparativistic” turn in educational research and policy, yet focusing in particular on how PISA results is presented in Norwegian media over a period of fifteen years. A longitudinal perspective on the media discourses can provide more knowledge about possible shifts along two dimensions: 1) time, and 2) actors. In the analysis, we have been concerned with analyzing the media discourses in themselves, and the content of the debates. Drawing on a discourse-analytical approach, we analyze selected national Norwegian newspapers from 2001 to 2016. The analysis indicates how the discourse has shifted in balance concerning what knowledge in education is, how it is presented and its perceived quality. There are also shifts in how actors, politicians and researchers in particular, present and perceive PISA results, and where the “comparativistic turn” seem to have influenced a move towards greater acceptance of the knowledge produced through PISA. The analysis also points to the role of media itself in the production of (new) discourses and thus the general popular opinion, through PISA and the knowledge it produces is presented.
Figazzolo, L. (2009). Impact of PISA 2006 on the education policy debate. Education International. Waldow, F. Takayama, K. & Youl-Kwan S. (2014) Rethinking the pattern of external policy referencing: media discourses over the ‘Asian Tigers’’ PISA success in Australia, Germany and South Korea, Comparative Education, 50:3. Grek, S. (2008). PISA in the british media: leaning tower or robust testing tool?. Centre for Educational Sociology, University of Edinburgh. Hopmann, S. T. (2008). No child, no school, no state left behind: Schooling in the age of accountability 1. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(4), 417-456. Ozga, J., Dahler-Larsen, P., Segerholm, C., & Simola, H. (Eds.). (2011). Fabricating quality in education: Data and governance in Europe. Routledge. Stack, M. (2006). Testing, testing, read all about it: Canadian press coverage of the PISA results. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l'éducation, 49-69.
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