‘Favourite places in school’ for lower-set ‘ability’ pupils: school groupings practices and children’s spatial orientations
(2016) Children’s Geographies, pp. 1-14. Article in Press.
This paper contributes to the recent turn within Children’s Geographies concerned with understanding and illuminating educational inequalities. The focus is upon pupils assigned to lower ‘ability’ groupings, in a school under pressure to raise attainment. The objective of the paper is twofold, firstly to consider how school grouping practices affect children’s sense of belonging in lessons, and secondly, to contextualise these findings against children’s spatial orientations within the broader school environment. It is argued that a spatial focus may shed light upon the educational policy drivers that contribute to the exclusion of disadvantaged children. Neo-liberal imperatives of accountability and performance can be seen to shape hierarchies of belonging, where pupils’ positioning in ‘ability’ groupings enables/limits the spatial agency that they can exert. Macro policy concerns are mapped onto micro school processes concerning the construction and governance of school spaces, using theoretical insights from Michel Foucault and R.D Sack. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ability grouping; Foucault; neo-liberal education policy; R.D. Sack; school inclusion/exclusion; Spatial orientations
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Carl Death, Counter-conducts: A Foucauldian Analytics of Protest, Social Movement Studies Vol. 9 , Iss. 3, 2010
The influence of Foucault on studies of social movements, dissent and protest is not as direct as might be imagined. He is generally regarded as focusing more on the analysis of power and government than forms of resistance. This is reflected in the governmentality literature, which tends to treat dissent and protest as an afterthought, or failure of government. However, Foucault’s notion of ‘counter-conducts’ has much to offer the study of dispersed, heterogeneous and variegated forms of resistance in contemporary global politics. Using the protests that have accompanied summits including Seattle, Johannesburg, Prague, London and Copenhagen to illustrate an analytics of protest in operation, this article shows how a Foucauldian perspective can map the close interrelationship between regimes of government and practices of resistance. By adopting a practices and mentalities focus, rather than an actor-centric approach, and by seeking to destabilize the binaries of power and resistance, and government and freedom, that have structured much of political thought, an analytics of protest approach illuminates the mutually constitutive relationship between dominant power relationships and counter-conducts, and shows how protests both disrupt and reinforce the status quo, at the same time.
Keywords: Foucault, counter-conducts, protest, summits, resistance, governmentality
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De Schauwer, E., Van de Putte, I., Blockmans, I.G.E., Davies, B.
The intra-active production of normativity and difference
(2016) Gender and Education, pp. 1-16. Article in Press.
Drawing on memory stories told in a collective biography workshop about children’s encounters with schooling, this paper experiments with re-imagining the child-student-subject as an ‘emergent intracorporeal multiplicity’ [Fritsch, K. 2015. “Desiring Disability Differently: Neoliberalism, Heterotopic Imagination and Intra-Corporeal Configurations.” Foucault Studies 19: 43–66, 51]. From the feminist new materialist perspective that the authors work with, the child is configured not as an entity prior to, or separate from, encounters with education systems, but emergent with-in them. This paper focuses on difference in human relations, and in particular on the intersections of disability and gender. It does so not in terms of essential characteristics of individuals, but as emergent, in-the-moment, with others. In focussing on the detail of lives-in-their-making, the authors ask, with Barad [2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham: Duke University Press], if we are interested in justice, how we are to ‘understand our role in helping constitute who and what come to matter?’ © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
difference; Disability; gender; justice; normativity; responsibility
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Tracing assessment policy discourses in neoliberalised higher education settings
(2016) Journal of Education Policy, pp. 1-18. Article in Press.
This article explores assessment policy in two European universities with different political, historical and social backgrounds: the University of Glasgow and Tallinn University. The University of Glasgow is a well-established Russell Group university in the UK; Tallinn University is a relatively new university in post-Soviet Estonia, shaped by very recent neoliberalisation processes. By applying a Foucauldian theorisation and Faircloughian methodology, this article approaches assessment policy as not only relating to institutional contexts but also national and global policy environments. The article argues that the assessment policy in Glasgow relates to globally dominant neoliberal discourses of accountability and excellence. These discourses have turned assessment into a complex technology of government that manages educational processes as well as academic and student subjectivities. While Tallinn University is shaped by neoliberalism at strategic levels, the policy documents in Tallinn still indicate a strong sense of local tradition where regulations have a modest impact on academic freedom and assessors’ disciplinary power over students. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
assessment policy; discourse; Foucault; higher education; Neoliberalism
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Knowledge Without Contexts? A Foucauldian Analysis of E.L. Thorndike’s Positivist Educational Research
(2016) Studies in Philosophy and Education, 35 (6), pp. 589-603.
The article discusses the allegedly decontextualized and ahistorical traits in positivist educational research and curriculum by examining its emergence in early twentieth-century empirical education. Edward Lee Thorndike’s educational psychology is analyzed as a case in point. It will be shown that Thorndike’s positivist educational psychology stressed the need to account for the reality of schooling and to produce knowledge of the actual contexts of education. Furthermore, a historical analysis informed by Michel Foucault’s history of the human sciences reveals that there are multiple historical temporalities involved in Thorndike’s educational psychology. This allows a new critical angle to be taken on positivist educational research. The question concerning the contexts of empirical education turns to examining the way the conditions of possibility for scientific knowledge in education involve practices of contextualization as well as paradoxical and self-defeating elements. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Foucault; History of education; Philosophy of education; Philosophy of science; Post-structuralism
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Charteris, J., Jones, M., Nye, A., Reyes, V.
A heterotopology of the academy: mapping assemblages as possibilised heterotopias
(2016) International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, pp. 1-14. Article in Press.
Heterotopias are counter-sites of enacted utopias through which reality is simultaneously represented, contested and inverted. They are physical or mental spaces where, although norms of behaviours are suspended, there are connections with a plethora of other spaces. This article constructs a collective biography as a heterotopology of the academy. Academic subjectivities are produced and often constrained within powerful Higher Education discourses. Constructing an affective assemblage of becomings as a heterotopology, the authors deploy poststructural philosophy to re-story academic life experiences and conceptualise agency in the academy. Taking licence with the notion of academicity and heterotopia, the article describes how spaces in the measured university can be deterritorialised through generative lines of flight. An affective assemblage is presented that ruptures the discursive orientation of category boundary work where academics are constituted as ‘productive metric-minded knowledge workers’. The collective biography research approach facilitates a mapping of affective cartographies as a heterotopology and a critique of the discursive production of selves. The subjectivations of identity politics in matricised assemblages may be, even if momentarily, evaded, refused and agentically resisted. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Affect; agency; collective biography; foucault; heterotopia
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Teaching and personal educational knowledge–conceptual considerations for research on knowledge transformation
(2016) European Journal of Teacher Education, 39 (5), pp. 588-601.
Teacher knowledge is currently explored in three major research paradigms. This paper reviews how teaching and personal educational knowledge are related in these three paradigms, namely: the evidence paradigm, the life history paradigm and the practice theory paradigm. The paradigms can be linked through their demand to elaborate knowledge transformation conceptually. This paper introduces some perspectives for conceptual elaboration of knowledge transformation: a post-critical epistemology is used to distinguish two modes of knowledge: practical educational knowledge which provides orientations for teaching, and personal educational knowledge which provides orientations for reflection on teaching. These two modes of knowledge are consequently linked through the concept of technologies of the self as introduced in the epistemology of Foucault, which provides perspectives to relate practical with personal educational knowledge and comprehend how teachers transform their knowledge to adapt and develop their teaching with respect to specific teaching contexts. © 2016 Association for Teacher Education in Europe.
knowledge transformation; personal knowledge; practical knowledge; Teacher knowledge; technologies of the self
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