Professor Bob Lingard is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education at Australian Catholic University. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Education at The University of Queensland. He has authored/edited 25 books and published many articles in the leading international journals in his fields of sociology of education and policy sociology in education. His most recent books include: Digital Disruption in Teaching and Testing (Routledge, 2021), Globalisation and Education (Routledge, 2021), Global-National Networks in Education Policy: Primary Education, Social Enterprises and ‘Teach for Bangladesh’ (Bloomsbury, 2021), Globalizing Educational Accountabilities (Routledge, 2016), The Global Handbook of Education Policy (Wiley, 2016), and Politics, Policies and Pedagogies in Education (Routledge, 2014).
This address will begin by documenting and analysing the ways in which global realities have been changing, particularly in respect of global/supranational/national and local multi-directional and criss-crossing relations in education policy. This will include consideration of the growth of inequality, the rise of authoritarian populist right wing opposition to the neo-liberal imaginary of globalization, related resurgence of nationalisms and ethnonationalisms, and emergence of post-truth tendencies. The ways new nationalisms have played out in respect of the global education policy field, the European Education Space, and on national systems will be analysed briefly. The impacts of the climate emergence (the Anthopocene) and the Covid 19 pandemic on the changing global realities will also be traversed. The place of the digitalised data revolution and enhanced computational capacities in these matters will also be an important focus, especially in respect of the new spatialities associated with globalisation and the changing and co-constituted, bordering and debordering education work of both international organisations (e.g., the OECD, UNESCO) and of national, supra-, and sub-national education systems. Set against the account of changing global relations, tensions in education policy developments globally and nationally between two onto-epistemological stances, what after Appadurai we can see as an ‘ethics of probability’ as opposed to an ‘ethics of possibility’, will be interrogated. The former is linked inter alia to the development of the datafication and digitalisation of education policy and schooling systems and evidenced in the growing testing regime of the OECD, in national testing, the involvement of EdTech companies and of the emergence of AI in education policy, while the latter is very evident in UNESCO’s humanistic, liberal progressive 2021 report, Reimagining our futures together: A new social contract for education. The former seeks to predict the future, the latter seeks democratic dialogues to create/shape a different future. The tension between the two ethics will also be considered in relation to a way forward for education research, theory and methodologies. More specifically, an argument will be proffered in respect of education policy studies that we need to go beyond a methodological nationalism/methodological globalism binary and also need to reconstruct our theorising from a decolonising epistemologically inclusive perspective. While the specific education and research focus will be on education policy studies, the argument will be recontextualised to education/al research more generally.
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