Affect and counter-conduct: cultivating action for social change in human rights education (2017)

Zembylas, M.
Affect and counter-conduct: cultivating action for social change in human rights education
(2017) Discourse, pp. 1-13. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2017.1300573

This paper explores the entanglement between two partially connected concerns that offer the potential to animate current discussions on human rights teaching and learning: ‘affect’ and ‘counter-conduct’. Both terms are at the heart of human rights education (HRE) approaches that aim at cultivating resistance in children and youth so that they respond in critically affective and action-oriented ways to human rights violations and social injustices in ‘the everyday’. These concepts are used to explore: first, how to encourage children and youth to enact forms of counter-conduct that are critical in human rights struggles, rather than responses which are sedimented through the governing technologies of declarational approaches of HRE; and second, how these counter-conduct practices may constitute ethical and political practices that critique liberal and sentimental forms of affect about human rights violations. It is argued that theoretical insights that pay attention to counter-conduct and affect offer possibilities for reconsidering normalized ideas in HRE. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Author Keywords
Affect; counter-conduct; Foucault; human rights; human rights education; sentimentality

Education Journal articles

The emergence of the quantified child (2017)

Smith, R.
The emergence of the quantified child
(2017) Discourse, 38 (5), pp. 701-712.

DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2015.1136269

Using document analysis, this paper examines the historical emergence of the quantified child, revealing how the collection and use of data has become normalized through legitimizing discourses. First, following in the traditions of Foucault’s genealogy and studies examining the sociology of numbers, this paper traces the evolution of data collection in a range of significant education policy documents. Second, a word count analysis was used to further substantiate the claim that data collection and use has been increasingly normalized through legitimizing discourses and routine actions in educational settings. These analyses provide evidence that the need to quantify educational practices has been justified over long periods of time through a variety of documents and that the extent to which data governs educators’ thoughts, discourses, and actions has dramatically increased during the past century. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Author Keywords
Data; educational discourse; educational policy; genealogy; history of education; sociology of numbers; testing

Education Journal articles

Neoliberal and disciplinary environmentality and ‘sustainable seafood’ consumption: storying environmentally responsible action (2017)

Lloro-Bidart, T.
Neoliberal and disciplinary environmentality and ‘sustainable seafood’ consumption: storying environmentally responsible action
(2017) Environmental Education Research, 23 (8), pp. 1182-1199.

DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1105198

This article invokes a neoliberal and disciplinary governmentality lens in a political ecology of education framework to analyze educational programming at Long Beach, California’s Aquarium of the Pacific. I begin by briefly describing governmentality as Foucault and neo-Foucauldian scholars have theorized the concept, followed by a discussion of the emergence of green governmentality and environmentality in political ecology. Next, I invoke a political ecology of education framework informed by neoliberal and disciplinary environmentality to analyze institutional and teaching practice at the Aquarium. In this analysis, I demonstrate how the institution’s funding structure, placement within the entertainment markets of the southern California area, and commitment to ocean conservation education all influence how the Aquarium conceptualizes itself and its work. I focus on the case of the Blue Cavern Show and the Seafood for the Future program, which work in tandem to define a problem (declining fish stocks; possible seafood shortages) and then structure a neoliberal solution through the market (sustainable seafood consumption). I conclude by discussing the implications of this research for environmental education, which include unpacking how neoliberalism impacts teaching practice, especially as it relates to notions of framing environmentally responsible action. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Author Keywords
informal education; neoliberalism; political ecology; zoos

Education Journal articles Neoliberalism

The contribution of Aboriginal epistemologies to mathematics education in Australia: Exploring the silences (2017)

Hughes, A., Laura, R.
The contribution of Aboriginal epistemologies to mathematics education in Australia: Exploring the silences
(2017) Educational Philosophy and Theory, pp. 1-11. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2017.1359782

Epistemology is a conceptual template for how we think about the world, and the study of how we come to know the world around us. The world does not dictate unequivocally how to interpret it. This article will explore this position on the fluidity of epistemic constructs through two prominent philosophical perspectives, those being derived from the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Michael Foucault, respectively. These insights will be used to more deeply unfold the current situation for Aboriginal students within dominant approaches to mathematics curriculum in Australia, and the subsequent approaches to the inclusion of Aboriginal knowledge and epistemologies. It is suggested that the epistemic constructs most valued and thus credited as conveyors of ‘truth’, and therefore positioned as powerful forms of knowledge within dominant curriculum and education policy, are those derived from Western, Eurocentric origins. This privileging of particular epistemological constructs over others is reinforced unconsciously through the articulation of educational goals deemed most appropriate, or ‘socially just’, for the Aboriginal student population. The place of Aboriginal knowledge within such constructs is therefore reflective of broader ideation around the role of education within society and its failure to challenge existing structures of power and injustice. © 2017 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia

Author Keywords
Aboriginal knowledge; educational goals; Epistemology; Foucault; mathematics curriculum; social justice; truth; Wittgenstein

Education Journal articles

Reconciling educational research traditions (2017)

Gore, J. M. Reconciling educational research traditions. The Australian Educational Researcher, (2017) 44:357–372

DOI 10.1007/s13384-017-0245-8

The field of educational research encompasses a vast array of paradigmatic and methodological perspectives. Arguably, this range has both expanded and limited our achievements in the name of educational research. In Australia, the ascendancy of certain research perspectives has profoundly shaped the field and its likely future. We (are expected to) identify ourselves in relation to particular theorists, theories, and methodologies, reconciling who we are as education academics with what we do as educational researchers. In this paper, I explore how we might reconcile seemingly incommensurate traditions. The analysis is anchored in my own experience, having traversed the terrain from poststructuralism to randomised controlled trials, and is elaborated through research conducted with colleagues on student aspirations and teacher development. I argue that it is critical to reconcile differences within educational research if we are to ensure the strength of the field and support the next generation of researchers to make a more profound impact on schooling and society.

Educational research Traditions Methodologies Randomised controlled trials

My father, a Highways Department surveyor, asked a similar kind of question when he read my thesis and summarised my 3-years-in-the-making Foucauldian analysis in one sentence—which was shockingly accurate. He asked: ‘‘Jenny, why didn’t you do something useful—like in Special Education?’’ It sounds harsher now than I remember and, with an intellectually disabled sister, I want to believe he spoke from a caring place.

Not much later, upon returning to Australia, I was invited to give a seminar on my PhD at a Queensland university—my first-ever significant speaking engagement. The usual seminar structure unfolded; a 45-min presentation in which I articulated my argument, post-PhD, with a growing sense of authority over the ideas, followed by the obligatory question-and-answer time. I recall none of the questions posed. But in the mingling afterwards, I was asked a question that has stuck with me ever since. It was 1991 and she asked: ‘‘Jenny, how do you reconcile wearing lipstick with your work on feminist pedagogy?’’ This time, the request to reconcile meant aligning my ideas with a certain physical presentation of my self. My intellectual response came readily, drawing on Foucault’s (1988) notion of technologies of the self and critiques of the unified rational subject (Henriques et al. 1984). But at an emotional and bodily level, the question cut deep, such that I continue to think, for example, about how to style myself appropriately for different contexts—how to dress as the Radford lecturer, how to reconcile my ageing body with the hip person inside!

Education Journal articles

‘It’s not like you are less of a man just because you don’t play rugby’—boys’ problematisation of gender during secondary school physical education lessons in New Zealand (2017)

Gerdin, G.
‘It’s not like you are less of a man just because you don’t play rugby’—boys’ problematisation of gender during secondary school physical education lessons in New Zealand
(2017) Sport, Education and Society, 22 (8), pp. 890-904.

DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2015.1112781

Despite clear messages from current physical education (PE) curricula about the importance of adopting socially critical perspectives, dominant discourses of gender relating to physical activity, bodies and health are being reproduced within this school subject. By drawing on interview data from a larger ethnographic account of boys’ PE, this paper aims to contribute to our understanding of boys’ experiences of gendered discourses in PE, particularly by acknowledging boys not only as docile or disciplined bodies but also as active subjects in negotiating power relations. In the analysis of the data, particular emphasis is placed on whether the boys recognise the influence of gendered discourses and power relations in PE, how they act upon this knowledge and how they understand themselves as gendered subjects through these particular discourses/power relations. Using Foucault’s (1985. The use of pleasure: The history of sexuality, vol. 2. London: Penguin Books) framework related to the ‘modes of subjectivation’, this paper explores boys’ problematisation of dominant discourses of gender and power relations in PE. In summary, these boys perform gendered selves within the context of PE, via negotiation of gendered discourses and power relations that contribute to an alternative discourse of PE which creates spaces and opportunities for the production of more ethical and diverse masculinities. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Author Keywords
Boys; Foucault; gender; masculinity; physical education

Education Journal articles

‘Peacekeepers’ and ‘machine factories’: tracing Graduate Teaching Assistant subjectivity in a neoliberalised university (2017)

Raaper, R.
‘Peacekeepers’ and ‘machine factories’: tracing Graduate Teaching Assistant subjectivity in a neoliberalised university
(2017) British Journal of Sociology of Education, pp. 1-15. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2017.1367269

Guided by a Foucauldian theorisation, this article explores Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) experiences of their work and subjectivity in a neoliberalised higher education environment. By drawing on a research project with GTAs from one UK university, the article argues that GTA work is increasingly shaped by neoliberal reforms. The GTAs interviewed are critical of internationalisation, marketisation and client culture, and see these processes as acting on their subjectivity. The GTAs position themselves as mediators between demanding students and overworked academics: they have turned into much-needed ‘peacekeepers’ and ‘machine factories’. The findings also demonstrate that the subjectivity enforced by a dominant market ideology is further negotiated in the GTA experience. The discourses reveal that a lack of institutional control and coordination of graduate teaching provides the means for, and indeed enables, the GTAs to express some, but often limited, discontent with neoliberalism. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Author Keywords
Foucault; Graduate Teaching Assistants; Higher education; neoliberalism; subjectification

Education Journal articles