23 SES 13 D, Policy Lessons for Europe
The aim of this paper is to present the specificity of public discourse on academic education, constructed in the context of the criticism of the reform of the science and higher education sector in Poland. The subject of our interest is the forms of problematization of academic education in the press criticism of the reform in the years 2011-2014, i.e. during the intensified debate on the amendment of the Law on Higher Education. With new legal regulations changing the higher education system as part of the implementation of the Bologna process, academic education has again become the subject of a heated debate involving various actors in social life (journalists, academics and politicians).
The paper presents answers to questions about how the discourse on education comes to the fore in the criticism of the reform of higher education sector. Who in this discourse performs the function of "experts of truth" (Rose 1999)? What image of education does this discourse produce? What place in the context of the whole reform is attributed to higher education? Texts which literally refer to the reform and changes in law (a total of 84) were made the object of the analysis. It used a set of categories derived from the interpretations of Foucauldian ideas (Foucault 1981, 2012) specified for the needs of empirical research (Ostrowicka 2015). The post-structural theoretical and analytical perspective allowed us to grasp the planes of emergence of the object of discourse, the patterns according to which the "issue" of academic education comes to the fore, and the instances of authority by the power of which the "truth" of higher education is pronounced.
The empirical basis of the study are press texts, published in 2011-2014, which subject refers to the reform of science and higher education in Poland. Basic direction of our explorations is emergent and inductive and in line with the assumptions of the method of discourse analysis and categories referring to Foucauldian ideaa:: the surface of the emergence of the subject of discourse, differentiating patterns and instances of partitions discourses. Based on these categories was established extensive tree code, allowing the reduction and representation of empirical data and derivation of conclusions. The whole of analyzes was realized with computer program supporting qualitative data analysis Atlas.ti.
The discourse on education emerged on two planes of the criticism of the reform: at the level of thematization and at the level of argumentation. Owing to the articulation of criticism (cf. Jørgensen, Phillips 2002), the various types of rhetoric (economic, pedagogical, ethical, and other) and the different patterns that differentiate the object of the discourse on education were combined and made coherent. For the press discourse, issues connected with academic education have become a source of assessment, justification, and demands addressed to higher education policy. As a result, the most emphasized rhetoric of economization has shown an image of education as the domain of economics along with the problem of its (under)funding at the head. A comparison of the obtained results with the results of other studies points to the remarkable permanence of the themes, arguments, and "voices" dominating in the press discourse on academic education in Poland since the 1990s. Journalists, who have seldom featured the themes and arguments as their own, have performed a special role in this debate. By gaining legitimacy through authorization (cf. Leeuwen, Wodak 1999), they have been using the entire reservoir of academic "authors", constructing comments (cf. Foucault 1981) on behalf of the world of Academia. The criticism of the reform of science and higher education has become a space for the public legitimization of financial problems connected with academic education.
Ball, S.J. (1994). Education reform: A critical and post-structural approach. Buckingham: Open University Press. Foucault, M. (2012). The Archaeology of Knowledge. New York: Vintage. Foucault, M. (1981). The Order of Discourse. In R. Young (Ed.), Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader (pp. 48-78). Boston, London and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Jørgensen M., Phillips, Luise (2002). Discourse analysis as theory and method, Sage, Londyn. Leeuwen, Van T., Wodak, R. (1999). Legitimizing Immigration Control: A Discourse-Historical Analysis, “Discourse Studies” vol. 1 (1). Olssen, M. (2016). Neoliberal competition in higher education today: research, accountability and impact. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37 (1): 129-148. Ostrowicka, H. (2015). Przemyśleć z Michelem Foucaultem edukacyjne dyskursy o młodzieży. Dyspozytyw i urządzanie. [Rethinking educational discourses on youth with Michel Foucault. Dispositif and governmentality.] Krakow: Impuls. Rose, N. (1999). Powers of freedom: Reframing political thought, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
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