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Göteborgs universitets publikationer

The History of International Large-Scale Assessments in Education

Författare och institution:
Daniel Pettersson (-); Sverker Lindblad (Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik)
Publicerad i:
American Educational Research Association Conference On Line Program 2016,
Konferensbidrag, refereegranskat
Sammanfattning (abstract):
The paper examines how transfer and the circulation of ideas in relation to the onset of mass schooling in the nineteenth and twentieth century led to a general curiosity about other countries’ educational processes. What is discussed is how a number of activities, such as international missions, the organization of exhibitions and the production of international encyclopedias led to the popularization of comparisons (Nóvoa & Yariv-Mashal, 2003). In parallel, national measurement of education became the defining element in the governing of education, with close connections to intelligence testing and factorial analyses (Lawn, 2013). At first this collection of data was intended for internal usage, e.g. for budgetary reasons, although was eventually widened to include comparisons with nations, and later on between nations (Landahl & Lundahl, 2013). The paper discuss these two phenomena and how they inspired each other to create a situation where comparisons and data usage are seen as ‘common sense’ (Gramsci, 1988) in today’s educational discourse. After outlining the history of comparisons and data usage the paper go on to discuss how specific trajectories can be seen within this specific branch and how the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), the first organization to focus on large-scale measurement of students’ knowledge was created, and how OECD later took up the baton in performing this kind of tests, especially the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Relating to both phenomena the paper performs an analyses on particular configurations in scientific development that enabled researchers to address and develop international large-scale knowledge assessments within a comparative discourse, thereby creating specific types of educational narratives (Pettersson, 2014) and styles of reasoning (Hacking, 1992) for educational governing. In sum, it can be stated that for understanding today’s governing of education we first need to consider numbers as defining a problematized space where subjects and objects are stabilized. Numbers seem technical, objective and calculable and embodying the idea of giving all equal chances and representation. Numbers standardized the subject of comparison and the act to exchange so that they were no longer seen as dependent on the personalities or the statuses of those who performed the measurement. The faith in numbers in social affairs today is so markedly part of common sense that it is possible to talk about ‘transparency’ in governmental social affairs and even personal relations can be discussed through statistical charts and graphs. Making government ‘transparent’ has become an act of democratic modes of acting for ensuring that everybody “knows” how decisions are made. As such the historical trajectories of comparison and data usage can be discussed within a discourse of international large-scale assessments and as such be discussed in terms of ‘transparent’ governing of education. Consequently, international large-scale assessments offers a style of reasoning adapted for modern society where decisions and reforms have to be, at least rhetorically, democratically based.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Utbildningsvetenskap ->
Pedagogik ->
Internationell pedagogik
International Comparisons, Large Scale Assessments, History of Educational Research Style of Reason
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2016-04-29 18:53

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