28 SES 11 B, Paper Session
This presentation explores the relationship between international data and national identity in Sweden, using historical and contemporary examples. We are currently witnessing a return of the nation in educational discourse and the aim is to clarify the meaning and reasons for this reawakened interest in the nation. In focus is how international large-scale assessments construct the nation. The connection between nationalism and education has long historical roots, but arguably the connection looks different today. It is possible to distinguish between two kinds of educational nationalism. The first type emerged in the 19th century in parallel with the rise of mass education and industrialism, and represented an attempt to spread the idea of the nation by educating students (e.g. Gellner 1983). It was transmitted in the classroom through textbooks, songs, poems, wall charts and flags. The second type of nationalism is associated with the emergence of international large-scale assessments. It differs from the first type in that it does not focus on the students, but rather directs its message towards the population in general. Instead of communicating with textbooks and other pedagogical tools adapted to the classroom, it uses different means of reaching out to a general audience: press conferences, political debates, newspaper articles, books debating education and so on, all serving to remind the population of a given country that their schools should be viewed as national assets. In order to understand how this transformation of the nature of educational nationalism became possible it is important to take into consideration the relationship between the national and the international. Previous research has pointed out that international organizations can promote and encourage national identities (Ichijo, 2017; Keys, 2006). In the realm of education similar studies can be conducted regarding the role of actors such as the IEA and the OECD. Drawing on sources of the history of international assessments from the 1950s to the present, I will argue that there has been a shift in the degree to which international assessments encourage national sentiments. Using Sweden as a case, it will be demonstrated how this new, performance based nationalism rests on a constant presence of the OECD.
Gellner, Ernest (1983). Nations and nationalism. Oxford: Blackwell. Ichiji, Atsuko (2017). “Banal Nationalism and UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List: Cases of Washoku and the Gastronomic Meal of the French.” In M. Skey & M. Antonsich, Everyday Nationhood. Theorising Culture, Identity and Belonging after Banal Nationalism. London: Palgrave. Keys, Barbara J. (2006). Globalizing sport: national rivalry and international community in the 1930s. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
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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