Education trade fairs, digitalisation and education

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Education trade fairs, digitalisation and education


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Publication Conference Meeting abstract
Title Education trade fairs, digitalisation and education
Author Jobér, Anna ; Player-Koro, Catarina
Date 2019
English abstract
Research topic/aim The opened up of the tax-financed welfare system for profit-making through a neoliberal economic reorganization of the public sector has meant that the educational sector in many countries nowadays is legally, economically opened up to private sector participation (Beach, 2010). A commodification of both services and resources has followed and a lucrative educational market has been established. A blur of actors from both the public- and the private sector, are participating in contemporary thinking about public education and education reforms. This has become particularly evident in relation to the digitalisation of schools (Williamson, 2015). To organize education trade fairs where all actors meet, where goods, services and ideas are offered for sale to schools has become one in the line of lucrative business ideas. In Sweden is SETT the leading event, organized by a private company together with a partnership of teacher unions, state-, and private actors. The fair is thus a complex policy event of different actors with different agendas that are held together by a policy narrative targeting teachers and school leaders, usually wrapped up as marketable applications and successful methods (Player-Koro et al., 2017). Few studies have scrutinized this kind of policy arenas and their consequences for education. The aim with this presentation is to present the initial findings from a basic research study on the education trade fair SETT Syd. The aim with the study is to investigate the different roles of non- state and state actors during the event. Theoretical framework Inspired by Latour (1987), a theoretical understanding of policy processes as policy assemblages is used. To describe the process of assembling, disassembling and reassembling, two concepts developed by Latour (1987), ‘matter of concerns’ and ‘matter of facts’ will be used. Methodological design Event ethnography, an approach to ethnography that emphasizes the development of theoretical and practical descriptions of events is used (Cook and Ward, 2012). Expected conclusions/findings New actors in the educational sector means that new discourses of education are distributed, embedded and naturalized. Hopefully will this study make visible how these discourses are 670 negotiated, translated and depoliticized by actors with different agendas towards education, and at length how practices and thoughts comes to be inscribed into society. Relevance to Nordic educational research Sweden stands out as a country where market-based reforming of the education system has been the most aggressive and radical, strongly influenced by a globalized neoliberal agenda. This study trying to understand what consequences this will have for education, democracy and those working in the educational sector. Beach D. (2010) Neoliberal Restructuring in Education and Health Professions in Europe: Questions of Global Class and Gender. Current Sociology 58: 551-569. Latour, B. (1987). Science in Action. How to follow scientists and engineers through society. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Player-Koro C, Bergviken Rensfeldt A and Selwyn N. (2017) Selling tech to teachers: education trade shows as policy events. Journal of Education Policy: 1-22. Williamson B. (2015) Political computational thinking: policy networks, digital governance and ‘learning to code’. Critical Policy Studies: 1-20.
NERA conference (6-8 March 2019 : Uppsala, Sweden)
Language eng (iso)
Subject Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
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