Archive for the ‘Educational research’ Category
In a recent analysis of anglophone scholarship, Baker and Heyning considered both where and when Foucault’s name was made to live and also analyzed the kinds of work such naming has performed, i.e., the substantive claims made in the name of or through Foucault. In regard to where and when, the most marked uptake of Foucault occurred in the second half of the 1990s in the humanities and social sciences, with the field of philosophy indexing the earliest discussions of his work.
Three predominant uses of Foucault in education appeared:
- historicization and philosophizing projects with relativization emphases (a more “problematizing” Foucault).
- denaturalization projects without overt historical emphases and with diversity emphases (a more “sociological” Foucault).
- critical reconstruction projects with solution emphases (a more “administrative” Foucault).
This paper takes off from Baker and Heyning’s survey of anglophone uses of Foucault by examining substantive examples of such recombinatorial approaches to Foucault and the plateaus they serve. It will suggest that specific responses to Foucault’s work at the turn of the twenty‐first century are sustained in part by historical propensities in the field to a) scientize and template theoretical frameworks, b) normalize‐govern particular approaches as standardized methodology amid swirling and recombinatorial tendencies, and c) carve out moralistic dualisms around their utility.
Hopes that the internet can improve teaching may at last be bearing fruit.
TheE 12-year-olds filing into Courtney Cadwell’s classroom at Egan Junior High in Los Altos, a leafy suburb of Silicon Valley, each take a white MacBook from a trolley, log on to a website called KhanAcademy.org and begin doing maths exercises. They will not get a lecture from Ms Cadwell, because they have already viewed, at home, various lectures as video clips on KhanAcademy (given by Salman Khan, its founder). And Ms Cadwell, logged in as a “coach”, can see exactly who has watched which. This means that class time is now free for something else: one-on-one instruction by Ms Cadwell, or what used to be known as tutoring.
So Ms Cadwell, in her own web browser, pulls up a dashboard where KhanAcademy’s software presents, through the internet, the data the children are producing at that instant. She can view information for the entire class or any individual pupil. Just then she sees two fields, representing modules, turning from green to red, one for Andrea, the other for Asia. Ms Cadwell sees that Andrea is struggling with exponents, Asia with fractions. “Instead of having to guess where my students have gaps, I can see it, at that moment, and I walk over to that one student,” says Ms Cadwell, as she arrives at Asia’s chair.
Education remains the trickiest part of attempts to reform the public sector. But as ever more countries embark on it, some vital lessons are beginning to be learned.
In many countries education is at the forefront of political debate, and reformers desperate to improve their national performance are drawing examples of good practice from all over the world.
Why now? One answer is the sheer amount of data available on performance, not just within countries but between them. In 2000 the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) at the OECD, a rich-country club, began tracking academic attainment by the age of 15 in 32 countries.
All-round education for life – a “truly outstanding school” in one of the highest performing education systems in the world
Hong Kong-China is one of the leading performers in the OECD PISA survey. It’s in the top 4 for reading, mathematics and science along with Shanghai-China, Korea and Finland, (while the UK’s results are in line with the OECD average – some way behind). I wanted to explore for myself what a high-performing school in Hong Kong is like. I was directed to St Paul’s Convent School in Causeway Bay which has achieved the highest value-added results in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination for the past 10 years and was described as “truly an outstanding school, excelling in all four domains of school work” in its Comprehensive Review report.
Judgements concerning proper or appropriate educational endeavour, methods of investigation and philosophising about education necessarily implicate perspectives, values, assumptions and beliefs. In recent years ideas from the complexity sciences have been utilised in many domains including psychology, economics, architecture, social science and education. This paper addresses questions concerning the appropriateness of utilising complexity science in educational research as well as issues relating to the ways in which complexity might be engaged. I suggest that, just like all human endeavour, approaches to research emerge out of discursive communities and can be understood as self-organising, dynamic and emergent over time. In this formulation, complexity represents one such newly emergent approach. I argue that it is important that researchers partake in critical and reﬂective discourse about the nature of education and conceptual frameworks, as well as about impacts and legacies of utilising complexity, so as to participate in and inﬂuence the ongoing emergence of educational endeavour. I conclude by suggesting a series of caveats for researchers considering using complexity in educational research.
This book advances the theoretical account that Barbara Rogoff presented in her highly acclaimed book, Apprenticeship in Thinking. Here, Rogoff collaborates with two master teachers from an innovative school in Salt Lake City, Utah, to examine how students, parents, and teachers learn by being engaged together in a community of learners. Building on observations by participants in this school, this book reveals how children and adults learn through participation in activities of mutual interest. The insights will speak to all those interested in how people learn collaboratively and how schools can improve.
This article seeks to demonstrate a particular application of Foucault’s philosophical approach to a particular issue in education: that of personal autonomy. The paper surveys and extends the approach taken by James Marshall in his book Michel Foucault: Personal autonomy and education. After surveying Marshall’s writing on the issue I extend Marshall’s approach, critically analysing the work of Rob Reich and Meira Levinson, two contemporary philosophers who advocate models of personal autonomy as the basis for a liberal education.
Change in the Field – Changing the Field – Bourdieu and the Methodological Practice of Educational Research
Bourdieu‘s social theory offers a way of understanding some of the most important features of the field of educational research, while also providing educational researchers with a rich conceptual apparatus for their practice. This article addresses both of these methodological themes and the connections between them. We begin by outlining some key trends in educational research, mainly in Britain, over recent decades in terms of Bourdieu’s Field Theory. Special attention is given to the relative positioning of researchers and the formation of an `avant-garde‘. We refer to the impact of educational policy and attacks on educational research, with attendant effects on the field, and on the formation and legitimacy of knowledge about educational processes. This analysis is followed by an example taken from a contemporary research project in which principles derived from Bourdieu’s approach have been adopted in framing methodology. We give particular attention to the terms of the programme in which the project forms a part, and key aspects of it such as `user engagement‘. Both methodological justifications and consequences are discussed, as well as tensions with dominant expectations of research processes and outcomes. Finally, we argue that, following Bourdieu’s own public strategies of sociopolitical action, educational research methodology that is radically reflexive has the capacity to found a critically effective discourse with practical consequences.