28 SES 08, Sociomaterial Accounts of Education
During the last decade, the “failure” of the Swedish educational system has been frequently reported in the public debate. Due to this, a large edu-political apparatus has been implemented in a tremendous pace, for instance teacher legitimation and new curricula. Aside from these politically organized reforms, we can see a growing apparatus of “helping” actors, changing the educational landscape in Sweden as well in Europe. On the international arena McKinsey & Company, the OECD and Pearson Education are examples of big international edu-business, influencing national school systems all over the world (Gorur, 2011; Tröhler, 2009). Meanwhile, there is an emerging field of “helping” actors on a national level, for instance The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise´s (CSE) and private companies’ support of the teacher education Teach for Sweden, learning game developers, companies organizing and assessing schools, homework companies, teaching materials developed by Non Governmental Organizations. These actors come into being in a discourse of knowledge-based economy (Ball, 2012; Lawn & Grek, 2012) and a school crisis. School’s failure becomes translated into an underused potential to foster employable, internationally competitive and flexible citizens, inviting different actors, often lacking formal educational expertise, to “help”.
The discourse of a Swedish schools crisis has come into being through a set of neoliberal ideals shaping common sense ways of imagining and practicing schooling (Rizvi & Lingard, 2010; Savage et al, 2013), such as “transparent” testing and rankings (Ball, 2012; Connell, 2013) with certain implications on educational system as well as other sectors of society, producing strategies, activities as well as subjectivities (Simons & Masschelein, 2008; Popkewitz, 2011; Serder & Ideland, 2015). As well, in the heart of neoliberalism lies the idea that individuals are free, but also obliged, to create their life trajectories through informed choices and life-long learning (Kaščák & Pupala, 2011). This opens up for edu-business activities also in students’ leisure time.
In a recently started project we study “helping” actors and practices on a national level to show a Swedish example of the current transformation of education in Europe. We look at the phenomenon as an actor-network unfolding outside the formal edu-political systems, in a myriad of connections (Fenwick, 2011). The marketisation of education and the impact of knowledge economy have been extensively studied on a macro-level, with a neoliberal agenda pointed out and criticised for everything from school profits to emerging poverty (Connell, 2013). Here we leave the well-studied macro-level for near-sighted investigations of how the educational crisis in the knowledge economy unfolds in an unruly landscape outside formal educational systems.
The purpose of the overall project is to study with what aims, under what conditions, in what forms and with which consequences non-educational actors engage in Swedish schools. This will be done through exploring enactments and negotiations of the discourse of Swedish school in crisis in and through contexts and activities outside the formal edu-political system. However, this specific paper presents results from the first part of the project, a pre-study in the shape of a network analysis built on netographic and ethnographic investigations of different actors in the external network. The questions are: How are edu-political discourses translated and materialised through different practices and negotiations in the network? What kinds of different actors are trying to “help” Swedish school and how are they linked to each other? What kinds of problems are they offering solutions to and with which means? In what ways do they legitimate their “help”? The study contributes to the understanding of politically un-governed enactments of the well-described marketisation of school, how the marketization in combination with an experienced crisis open up for new actions and actors.
Ball, S. (2012). Global Education Inc.: New policy networks and the neoliberal imaginary. London: Routledge. Connell, R. (2013). The neoliberal cascade and education: An essay on the market agenda and its consequences. Critical Studies in Education, 54(2), 99-112. Fenwick, T., Doyle, S., Michael, M., Scoles, J. (2015). Matters of Learning and Education Sociomaterial Approaches in Ethnographic Research. In S. Bollig, M-S. Honig, S. Neu-mann, C. Seele C (eds.). MultiPluriTrans in Educational Ethnography: Approaching the Multimodality, Plurality and Translocality of Educational Realities. Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript Verlag/Columbia University Press, pp. 119-142. Fenwick, T. (2011). Reading educational reform with actor-network theory: Fluid spaces, otherings, and ambivalences. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(1), 114-134. Gorur, R. (2011). ANT on the PISA trail: Following the statistical pursuit of certainty. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(1), 76-93. Jobér, A. (2015). Unfolding Processes of Accountability in a Changed Educational Land-scape. Paper accepted to ECER 2015, Budapest Sept. Kaščák, O. & Pupala, B. (2011). Governmentality-neoliberalism-education: The risk per-spective. Journal of Pedagogy/Pedagogický casopis, 2(2), 145-158. Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social: An introduction to actor-network theory. Oxford University Press. Lawn, M. & Grek, S. (Eds.) (2012). Europeanizing education: Governing a new policy space. Oxford: Symposium Books. Popkewitz, T. (2011). PISA. In Pereyra, Kotthoff & Cowen (Eds.), PISA Under Examina-tion: Changing Knowledge, Changing Tests, and Changing Schools (pp. 31-46). Sense. Rizvi, F. & Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing education policy. London: Routledge. Serder, M., & Ideland, M. (2015). PISA truth effects: the construction of low performance. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, (ahead-of-print), 1-17. Simons, M. & Masschelein, J. (2008). The governmentalization of learning and the assem-blage of a learning apparatus. Educational Theory, 58(4), 391-415. Tröhler, D. (2009). Harmonizing the educational globe. World polity, cultural features, and the challenges to educational research. Studies in Philosophy and Education 29, 7–29.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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