23 SES 12 C, Examining Educational Change Within and Between National Policy Spaces Using Discursive Institutionalism
The intention of this symposium is to examine educational change within and between national borders using discursive institutionalism (DI) as a unifying theoretical and methodological point of departure. A major issue today in the field of curriculum theory (CT) has to do with educational change and the search for a better understanding of what drives educational change in today’s globalised society. What local, national and/or transnational forces and actors play a role in shaping and reshaping national education systems, and what convergences and/or divergences can be identified (Anderson-Levitt, 2008)? The mode of curriculum comparisons has increasingly been set within a framework of quantitative descriptions of differences and/or similarities at a surface level. Although contributing to the understanding of global processes affecting national education, and to the creation of new transnational policy spaces, this approach has been criticised for ignoring the influence of national and local policy contexts (see Steiner-Khamsi & Waldow, 2012). To understand educational change as part of national politics and to avoid simplified and/or overestimated conclusions, the analysis must include both an interest in global processes driven by powerful transnational actors and in national and local contexts with their historical, cultural and political characteristics and actors, affecting the way education is realised in different educational settings (Nordin & Sundberg, 2014). However, the field of CT still suffers from a methodological deficit and an under-theorisation when it comes to more complex and nonlinear approaches to policy transfer. Common to the presentations in this symposium is that they contribute to such a research taking complexity seriously, drawing on discursive institutionalism (Schmidt, 2008, 2011) as a way to make historical and geographical comparisons of the different ways in which education change within and between national policy spaces in todays globalised context, both in terms of process and content (cf. Wahlström & Sundberg, 2017). Using discursive institutionalism calls attention to approaches theorising both the substantive content of ideas and discourse and how they contribute to maintain and/or alter institutions. The term ‘discourse’ is used in a generic way, encompassing both the substantive content of ideas and the interactive process where these ideas are conveyed. As pointed out by Uljens and Ylimaki (2015, p. 39), ‘Discourse-oriented curriculum theory provides a language for talking about the human interactive and interpersonal dimensions of any level, from classroom to transnational’.
The symposium includes case studies from the Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland and Norway) as well as Anglo-Saxon (Australia), and contributes to policy research by new approaches to understanding and analysing discursive changes on transnational policy arenas as wells as how these changes are played out and handled in institutional settings by sentient agents, leading and organizing education in national and local contexts through theoretical and methodological development of the conceptual framework provided by DI.
The symposium is organised as a 90 minute session. Each presenter will have 15 minutes for his or her presentation, followed by a joint discussion at the end led by a discussant.
Anderson-Levitt KM. (2008). Globalization and Curriculum. In: Connelly F, Michael F. He, MF and Phillion, JA (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Curriculum and Instruction. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, pp. 349-368 Nordin, A & Sundberg, D (Eds.) (2014). Transnational policy-flows in European education – the making and governing of knowledge in the education policy field. Oxford: Symposium books. Schmidt, Vivien A. (2008). Discursive Institutionalism: The Explanatory Power of Ideas and Discourse. The Annual Review of Political Science, 11, 303–326. Schmidt, V. (2011) Speaking of change: why discourse is key to the dynamics of policy transformation. Critical Policy Studies, 5(2), 106-126. Steiner-Khamsi, G. & Waldow, F. (Eds.) (2012). Policy borrowing and lending in education. Oxon: Routledge. Uljens, M. & Ylimaki, R. (2015). Towards a discursive and non-affirmative framework for curriculum studies, Didaktik and educational leadership. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, vol 1, pp. 30-43. Uljens, M. & Ylimaki, R. (Eds) (2017). Bridging educational leadership, curriculum theory and didaktik non-affirmative theory of education. Springer: OPEN. Wahlström, Ninni & Sundberg, Daniel (2017): Discursive institutionalism: towards a framework for analysing the relation between policy and curriculum. Journal of Education Policy, DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2017.1344879
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
Network 8. Research on Health Education
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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