06 SES 14 A, Data(fication) in Schools: Perspectives, Practices, and Research Approaches
Schools increasingly collect numbers and data in order to optimize teaching and learning. This paper aims to show the role of data management systems in schools and pursue the question to what extent data management systems are part of school development and practices. For this purpose, results of a systematic review of the international discourse on digital data and school development are introduced. Furthermore, first results of an investigation of school documents are included. They refer to constructions of meaning and data practices in the context of data management systems on an organizational level. From the perspective of critical media pedagogy, the received literature and or-ganizational processes of school practice are presented. Main result of the systematic review is, among other issues, that data management systems are increasingly used to support school performance with data-driven decisions (Selwyn 2016). The digitization of student administration and achievement data in the contect of evidence-based surveys and their connection is the main focus. Not to be neglected are gaps in the context of the discourse with regard to discussions of school development and technically generated, unsystematically collected data through the use of data-based technologies (e.g., to support learning processes, in digital communication systems). Institutional structures of data transfer between schools and school authorities are systematically established. Thus, extensive and diverse volumes of data are stored, processed and visualized in school data management systems. Besides a collection of performance data for the purpose of educational control, there is also the potential to link behavioral, attendance, and structural data together (Fernandes 2019). In the literature, digitization and datafication are described as a way to make pedagogical work and communication structures more efficient and to contribute to school quality. Obviously, there is an inherent need to quantify and objectify social reality and, in this way, to increase control knowledge (Sellar 2015b; 2015a). Vacancies in the discourse exist in the thematization of data which are interrelated to social processes such as the generation of realities or power dynamics (Williamson 2016). Datafication is rarely recorded as embedding and reification of norms, values and strategies in information systems by different actors (Cukier and Mayer-Schönberger 2013). These main results and vacancies of the international discourse on school data management systems are put up for discussion with regard to the handling and embedding of digital data in organi-zational processes and practices of schools.
Cukier, Kenneth, and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger. (2013). The Rise of Big Data: How It’s Changing the Way We Think About the World. Foreign Affairs 92 (3): 28-40. Fernandes, Vanesser. (2019). Investigating the role of data-driven decision-making within school improvement processes. In Evidence-based initiatives for organizational change and development, published by Bob Hamlin, Andrea D. Ellinger, and Jenni Jones, 201–19. Hershey: Business Sci-ence Reference. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-6155-2.ch010. Sellar, Sam. (2015a). Data infrastructure: A review of expanding accountability systems and large-scale assessments in education. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 26 (5): 765–77. https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2014.931117. Sellar, Sam. (2015b). A Feel for Numbers: Affect, Data and Education Policy. Critical Studies in Edu-cation 56 (1): 131–46. https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2015.981198. Selwyn, Neil. (2016). There’s so much data‘: Exploring the realities of data-based school governance. European Educational Research Journal 15 (1): 54–68. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474904115602909.
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