06 SES 14 A, Data(fication) in Schools: Perspectives, Practices, and Research Approaches
Pedagogical practices are increasingly data-based through the datafication of schools (Breiter & Jarke 2019), as the generation, collection, storage and analysis of data are also part of everyday life in schools. Data, as (seemingly objective) reference points, play an increasingly central role in the (pedagogical) practice of schools and thus have a major influence on school practice. This influence can be seen, for example, in efforts to individualise teaching-learning processes, which is often proclaimed together with automation and adaptivity as the potential of the use of digital data (see e.g. Dander & Aßmann 2015), but has so far been too little studied. “To research data infrastructure is to research the development practices that are, even as we survey them as ‘objects’ of study, reconfiguring the very conditions of this study; data infrastructure is not simply a set of material supports ‘out there’; it is an assemblage of practices” (Sellar 2015, p. 773). Assuming that data practices are processual, data points emerge as outcomes of data practices, or practice and data point coincide, and data infrastructures are conceptualised as assamblages (Decuypere, 2021), this poses challenges for both the social sciences and school pedagogy, as these practices become quasi 'invisible' from the outside. It raises the question how such practices and transformation processes associated and combined with data can be studied at all? So far, research on (data) practices in schools seem to mainly use research methods such as artifact analysis, interviews, and especially ethnographic observations (e.g. Selwyn, 2020). However, other research methods such as virtual ethnography (Kozinets, 2010; Hine, 2001) or critical software studies also gain importance. Following this, the contribution focuses on method(olog)ic questions and wants to reflect on a meta-level insight into methodological approaches to data practices in schools. In order to be able to discuss the potentials but also limitations of possible research methods for theory and practice, the aim of our contribution is to methodologically review research approaches to data practice in schools and to generate an overview of previous research practice in this area. We focus reflexively on social science tools and methods of knowledge production. Hence, we review existing literature and studies that shed light on data practices in school and analyse them according to their methodological approach and basic methodological assumptions. Based on this and with reference to the outlined theoretical background, implications for future research are discussed.
Breiter, A. & Jarke, J. (2019). Editorial: the datafication of education. Learning. Media and Technolo-gy, 44(1):1-6. Dander, V. & Aßmann, S. (2015). Medienpädagogik und (Big) Data: Konsequenzen für die erzie-hungswissenschaftliche Medienforschung und -praxis. In: Gapski, H. (Hrsg.): Big Data und Me-dienbildung, Schriftenreihe zur digitalen Gesellschaft. NRW, München: kopaed. Decuypere, M. (2021). The Topologies of Data Practices: A Methodological Introduction. Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research, 10(1), 67-84. doi: 10.7821/naer.2021.1.650 Hine, C. (2001). Virtual ethnography. London [u.a.]: Sage. Kozinets, R. V. (2010). Netnography: Doing ethnographic research online. London: Sage Publications. Sellar, S. (2015). Data infrastructure: a review of expanding accountability systems and large-scale assessments in education. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36(5), 765–777. https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2014.931117 Selwyn, N. (2020): ‘Just playing around with Excel and pivot tables’ - the realities of data-driven schooling, Research Papers in Education, DOI:10.1080/02671522.2020.1812107
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