23 SES 11 A, The Encounter between Homogenization and Heterogeneity: Increased standardization in a diverse world? Part 1
Modern education is embedded in a society that sociologists have characterized as a risk society, in the sense that it is increasingly occupied with debating, preventing and managing risks that it itself has produced (Luhmann 2000, Giddens 1991, Beck 1992). Education policy makers aim at dealing with future risks by increased standardization of the educational system, a process supported by global systems of educational policy ideas, quality assurance and governing practices (Rizvi and Lindgard 2010, Steiner-Khamsi 2014, Hilt et. al 2018; Landri 2018). At the same time, an increasingly culturally, linguistically, ethnically and/or socially diverse student population face both the intended, and unintended, consequences of the policy makers’ efforts to standardize. Tendencies of global standardization is also accompanied by heterogenisation, especially when global educational initiatives encounter, and are translated in to, local educational semantics and contexts (Hilt et al 2018, Steiner-Khamsi, 2014. Ball, 2016, Dale 1999). The symposium will illuminate and discuss examples of dynamics that follow from these co-consisting and possibly opposing tendencies of standardization and diversity, homogenization and heterogenisation.
Policy making in education tends to reflect tensions between 'context-productive' and 'context generative' practices - thus producing venacular globalization (e.g.Appadurai 1995; Ritzvi and Lingard 2010, Winter 2012). This symposium brings together researchers from different corners of Europe, all investigating how the dynamics of homogenization and heterogenization, and/or standardisation and diversity, play out in their particular contexts. Allowing for a plurality in perspectives, the symposium aims to understand how varied policy contexts across Europe, with different cultural and socio-economic conditions mediate transnational education policy. Researchers from Denmark, Greece, Italy, Norway and Sweden represent a range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches.
The symposium has two parts. Part one investigates standardising initiatives in educational policy and how they can be read as a movement with both global and local dynamics. The first part will be followed up with part two, investigating how standardising measures create particular expectations towards students. As a whole, the symposium will mirror a diversity of methodological approaches, as well as a variety of national, educational contexts.
All contributions in both parts will have a double focus:
1) First, they will provide empirical cases that illuminate possible tensions, dynamics and consequences of co-consisting processes of standardization, heterogenisation and diversity in education.
2) Second, to address the conference theme for ECER 2019, as well as the special call, the contributions will discuss how dynamics of homogenization and heterogenisation can be researched within and across national contexts. The symposium is open to discussions about the fruitfulness of different theoretical and methodological perspectives, as well as possible ethical challenges and normative implications of such critical investigations of educational policy and practice.
Part one consists of three papers, all investigating educational governance as a movement with both global and local dynamics, looking into how standardizing initiatives meet the local educational practices and discourses. The papers address issues such as the enactment of standards, the relationship between discourses and practice in context, and the balancing of semantical meanings. They apply different theoretical lenses that depart from sociomaterial approaches, Luhmann’s systems theory and Bernstein’s theory of recontextualisation of discourse in education.
Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalization. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press Beck, U. (1992). Risk Society. London: Sage Dale, R. (1999). Specifying globalization effects on national policy: a focus on the mechanisms. Journal Of Education Policy, 14(8), 1–17 Giddens, Anthony. (1991). Modernity and Self-Identity. Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Oxford: Polity Press . Landri, P. (2018). Digital Governance of Education. London: Bloomsbury Luhmann, N. (2000). Risk: a sociological theory. New York: Routledge Rizvi, F., & Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing education policy. New York: Routledge Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2014). Cross-national policy borrowing: Understanding reception and translation. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 34(2), 153–167 Winter, C. (2012) School curriculum, globalization and the constitution of policy problems and solutions. Journal of Education Policy, 27(3), 295-314
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