28 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
This poster introduces the joint research project DATAFIED (Data For and In Education), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 2018-2021, and carried out by the Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib), the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI), the Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education (DIPF), and the Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg (HSU).
The project is part of the BMBF-funding scheme Digitalization in Education and seeks to contribute to a currently expanding field of research on the increasing datafication of schooling, which in recent decades has affected numerous countries around the world, albeit in different ways. It hereby draws on a rising number of so-called Critical Data Studies, which seek to specifically understand the role and impact of data infrastructures and data practices as powerful new tools of relation-making in school monitoring, leadership and classroom practice (e.g. Williamson 2017, Manolev et al. 2018, Landri 2018). While much of that research has, at least so far, largely concentrated on ‘forerunner’ countries (however, see e.g. Schildkamp et al. 2013, Macgilchrist 2017, Hartong 2018, Jornitz/Leser 2018), the DATAFIED project presents a contextualized account of how data infrastructures and data practices are increasingly contributing to the (re-) configuration of schools in Germany as a kind of datafication ‘latecomer’. It hereby follows an exceptional, comprehensive approach by examining not only (digital) data used in teaching and learning, but also data infrastructures within the administration and supervision of schools (that are increasingly made interoperable). Therefore, the project consists of four sub-project which, however, operate in close interaction:
1) Sub-project one (“School administration, monitoring and leadership”) examines the interface between school supervision agencies and the school, focusing in particular on practices of (external) evaluation and school/classroom development consultation.
2) Sub-project two (“School management and information systems”) considers the information systems used by school management, which also includes the relationship between schools and school management system providers.
3) Sub-project three (“Teaching software”) unpacks the digital tools used in classrooms, analysing the interface between digital learning software (providers) and classroom practice. It asks how the software intentionally prefigures particular data practices, educational priorities and teacher and student roles.
4) Sub-project four (“Teachers and students”) studies the interface between teachers and students in the classroom. It explores media use and the associated data gathering, monitoring and analysis, and examines the shifting relationships and teacher and student roles within the classroom setting.
In sum, the aim of the DATAFIED project is to critically observe how the availability of digital data through information and monitoring systems as well as learning software becomes entangled with shifting roles, professional practices and social/pedagogical relationships. It further seeks to better understand how people and systems deal with data and to what extent the school is being de- or reconstructed as a result of these data practices. In doing so, the project – despite its one-country focus – also has important (empirical, but also methodological) implications for international and/or comparative educational research.
The goal of the DATAFIED project is to better understand how datafication, in particular the ‘doing’ (e.g. fabrication, processing, modelling, managing, visualisation etc.) of (digital) data for school monitoring, management and classroom practice, has become enacted in various school-relevant relations. We hereby also examine actors such as system providers (e.g. software companies), as well as the data instruments itself, building on recent methodological debates within the field of critical data studies (e.g. Iliadis/Russo 2016). The DATAFIED project uses a sample of eight secondary schools in four different urban areas/federal states (Frankfurt/Hesse, Potsdam/Brandenburg, Hamburg and Bremen) to gain both single-case and comparable insights. We further pick schools that qualify as pioneers for digitalization (e.g. model schools within digitalization funding schemes) and that have already implemented and worked with digital tools. Methodically, aside this common case selection, each DATAFIED sub-project applies different methods, aligned to its specific questions. Such methods include a) documentary analysis (e.g. to study how “data-based” external evaluation and school/classroom development consultation are organized within the different federal states), b) interviews with school supervision/consultancy experts, headmasters, school secretaries, software providers, teachers and students, c) software studies of selected digital tools (e.g. reverse engineering of school information systems), or d) classroom observations (e.g. how digital media is used by teachers). Finally, while the project applies both classical and newer methods to explore digital data tools, infrastructures and practices, we also aim to contribute to methodological innovations in the field of critical data studies.
While initial reliable results of the DATAFIED study will not be available before 2020, we still expect particular outcomes. We expect to reveal what studies from other countries have found and what Selwyn (2013: 198) has described as ‘messy’ realities of technology and education. In other words, the production, processing and use of digital data involves very different logics, translations, practices and problems, together forming complex and dynamic “datafied” entanglements. In fact, one goal of the study is to actively embrace and acknowledge this messiness. Still, however, we hope to identify key mechanisms, commonalities and also differences (between the sub-projects, the different data practices/digital tools or between the selected schools/federal states) that present somewhat typical effects or ambivalences of datafication. Exemplarily, we expect to find what Thompson and Sellar (2018) recently described as an ongoing dynamic of information, always producing the need for more and better information, as also being highly relevant in the datafication of schools. As a result, data management plays a constantly growing role within all school-relevant dimensions. Nonetheless, we assume datafication not as producing single centres of calculation and data power, but rather as a constant mediation, e,g. between software/coding activities in a narrower sense and the wider embedding of these kind of activities into institutional and pedagogical practices.
Hartong, S. (2018): “Towards a topological re-assemblage of education policy? Observing the implementation of performance data infrastructures and ‘centers of calculation’ in Germany”. In: Globalisation, Societies and Education, 16(1): 134-150. Iliadis, A., and Russo, F. (2016): “Critical data studies: An introduction.” Big Data & Society , 3(2). Jornitz, S., and Leser, C. (2018): "Mit Antolin punkten oder: Wie sich mit dem Leseförder-programm der Bock zum Gärtner macht". Pädagogische Korrespondenz,7: 55-73. Landri, P. (2018): Digital Governance of Education. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Macgilchrist, F. (2017). Backstaging the teacher: On learner-driven, school-driven and data-driven change in educational technology discourse. Culture-Society-Education, 1(10). Manolev, J., Sullivan, A., and Slee, R. (2018): “The datafication of discipline: ClassDojo, surveillance and a performative classroom culture,” Learning, Media and Technology, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2018.1558237. Schildkamp, K.; Karbautzki, L.; Breiter, A.; Marciniak, M.; Ronka, D. (2013). The Use of Data Across Countries: Development and Application of a Data Use Framework. In D. Passey, A. Breiter, A. J. Visscher, (Hg.) Next Generation of IT in Educational Manage-ment Berlin: Springer, 27-38. Selwyn, N. (2013): “Rethinking Education in the Digital Age”. In: Orton-Johnson, K. and Prior, N. (Hrsg.): Digital sociology: Critical perspectives. Springer, pp.197-212. Thompson, G., and Sellar, S. (2018): “Datafication, testing events and the outside of thought.” Learning, Media and Technology. Online first. Williamson, B. (2017): Big Data in Education: The digital future of learning, policy and practice. Los Angeles: Sage.
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