23 SES 10 C, Governing By Inspection II: National Developments
Symposium, Part 2
This symposium reports on current funded research into Inspection regimes in three national education systems- Sweden, England and Scotland – which explores the role of inspectors in governing education. Moving from the first part of the symposium, which focused on European networks and activities, we focus on the ways in which inspection evidence/knowledge and the work of inspection are understood ‘on the ground’ in the three countries in our study-England, Scotland and Sweden. In reporting on our work in relation to national developments and their meanings in local and school contexts, we focus on two main issues (i) the role of knowledge and evidence in inspection in the three systems and (ii) the interaction of the local and institutional with the inspection process. We report here on our work on national/municipal traditions and cultures of inspection and on the national/municipal implementation of the results of inspection in compulsory schooling along with research on the national inspectorates, their background, training, experience and ‘assumptive worlds’, their claims to expertise and their modes of operation (ie what is examined, against what criteria, for how long, with what evidence etc).Theoretically, we are working with concepts that link governance to knowledge (Ozga, Grek and Lawn 2010) in a tense relationship, that is reflected in the inspectorate’s combination of embodied and encoded knowledge (Lave and Wenger 1991), We therefore analyse the forms of knowledge that are prioritized in inspection events, reports and training, and discuss the relationship between judgment and evidence in these processes. We consider how inspection processes relate to local policymaking spaces, including the inspection of local government services. In presenting our findings on this stage of our work, we discuss the use of inspection processes in system learning across authorities/municipalities and schools? Methodologically, we focus our enquiry on identifying tensions and how they play out in the relation between ‘judgment’ and ‘evidence’ in the inspection process. We make use of policy text analysis, and of extensive interviews with key system actors at all levels, along with observation of training events and inspections in Sweden. The research is underpinned by an understanding of policy as discourse, where policy texts carry definitions of problems, reference particular forms of evidence, and produce ‘knowledge’ of particular kinds to guide the implementation of policy solutions (Fairclough 2003)
Le, Lave,Jand Wenger, E (1991) Situated Learning. Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing discourse: Textual analysis for social research. London:Routledge.
Oz 0zga, J., Grek, S. and Lawn, M. (2010) ‘The New Production of Governing Knowledge’, Soziale Welt 60 (4) pp.353-370.
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