23 SES 03 A, International Comparative Assessments
In the era of globalisation, the education sector is influenced, directly or indirectly, by powerful transnational and supranational institutions. As Ball (1998) states , individual governments around the world, even those that appear to be the most powerful, have experienced a diminution on their ability to control or supervise the activities of multinational corporations (MNCs). Considering the five socio-spatial networks, presented by Mann (2000, in Lingard et al, 2005), i.e. the local, the national, the international, the transnational and the global, we are attempting to look at the correlations arising from the influence of supranational organisations onto the local level, such as OECD exerts through the PISA program.
The primary question is: how the economic and, consistently, the social globalisation affect the state in the steering of education policy? According to Dale (2000) a new educational campus is formed within which new and old educational paths strive to mingle in the broader context of the education policy enacted by the states under the influence of the guidelines of international and transnational forces. As a corollary, national policies should be apprehended as a core of influences and interdependencies resulting in “interconnectedness, multiplexity and hybridisation”. (Amin, 1997, in Ball, 2001)
Taking into consideration all the above, our research question is how these multifaceted and hybridised policies are employed by an institutional entity, such as the media, whose influence on the exercise of political power and governance has always been acknowledged, along with their contribution to the formation of social representations and the expression of the social imaginary through the meanings that are embodied in the articulation of speech and images in the various forms that these are reflected. Nevertheless, the current political and economic context, reveals the double nature of the power of the media. On the one hand, media affect the formulation of the public opinion, while on the other hand they seem to affect the exercise of political power. Their prevalence doesn't seem to face any real resistance from the social subjects, which in a way has unspecified impact on the disintegration of the emancipatory project and the alteration of the central imaginary meanings that embrace it (Castoriadis, 1996). Under this perspective, it is interesting to explore, via the Greek daily press, how the relationship between the Greek society and the global education field is re-enacted, and more precisely, to elude through which social meanings this particular society assumes its participation in a competitive globalised education context. attempting to do so, we use PISA, OECD's programme for the assessment of 15-year-old students, as our research object, since it is recognised as "OECD's platform for policy construction, mediation and diffusion, at national, international and possibly global level" (Rizvi&Lingard, 2006, in Grek, 2009). in this context, we address thefollowing questions: how this society positions itself within the global scene through PISA? How it analyses the social and political implicaitons of its classification? Through which images the notions of ethnicity, globalisation and European belonging interrelate and shape the social meaning of its analysis?
Ball, S. J. (1998). “Big Policies/Small World:An introduction to international perspectives in education policy”, Comparative Education, 34: 2, 119-130 Ball, S. J. (2001). Global Policies and Vernacular Politics in Education., Curriculo sem Frontieras, 1: 2, 27-43 Castoriadis, C., (1996), La montée de l’insignifiance, les Carrefours du labyrinthe IV, Paris : Ed. Seuil p.82-102 Dale, R. (2000). Globalization : A New World for Comparative Education, in J. Schriewer (ed.) Discourse Formation in Comparative Education. 2nd edn: 87-109. Frankfurt : Peter Lang. Fairclough, N. (1995). Media Discourse. London: Arnold. Gamson, W.A., Croteau, D., Hoynes, W., Sasson, T., (1992). Media Images and the Social Construction of Reality. Annual Review of Sociology, 18, pp.373-393. Grek, S. (2009). Governing by numbers: the PISA ‘effect’ in Europe. Journal of Education Policy, , 24: 1, 23-37 Lingard, B., Rawolle, S., Taylor, S. (2005). “Globalising policy sociology in education: working with Bourdieu”, Journal of Education Policy, 20: 6, 759-777 Robson, c. (2011). 3rd edition. Real World Research. Wiley.
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