1st Edition

Education by the Numbers and the Making of Society The Expertise of International Assessments

    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    International statistical comparisons of nations have become commonplace in the contemporary landscape of education policy and social science. This book discusses the emergence of these international comparisons as a particular style of reasoning about education, society and science. By examining how international educational assessments have come to dominate much of contemporary policymaking concerning school system performance, the authors provide concrete case studies highlighting the preeminent role of numbers in furthering neoliberal education reform. Demonstrating how numbers serve as ‘rationales’ to shape and fashion social issues, this text opens new avenues for thinking about institutional and epistemological factors that produce and shape educational policy, research and schooling in transnational contexts.

    1. Thomas S. Popkewitz and Sverker Lindblad: Statistic Reasoning, Governing of Education and Social Inclusion and Exclusion

    Section I: Numbers: A History of A Style of Reasoning

    2. Theodore M. Porter: Politics by the number

    3. Hans Krause Hansen and Anne Vestergard: Reflections on the politics of lists and their governing capacities: ‘Tax Havens’ and ‘Secrecy Jurisdictions’

    4. Catarina Martins: Measuring National Development: Its Historical Emergence, The Cultures Of Objectivity And Making Up The Child Who Develops

    5. Barbara Czarniawska: And the world has finally been made to measure

    Section II: The Field of Making of Data: Problematics of Assessment in Context 11

    6. Regula Bürgi and Daniel Tröhler: The development of the OECD education indicators in the 1960’s

    7. Radhika Gorur: The struggle to standardize: Assembling the International Standard Classification.

    8. Luis Miguel Carvalho: International Assessments and Its Expertise Fabricating expert knowledge for policy

    9. David Berliner: The Implications of Understanding That PISA is Simply Another Standardized Achievement Test

    Section III: Knowledge by the number – Large Scale Assessments and its field of communication

    10. Sverker Lindblad, Daniel Pettersson and Thomas S. Pokewitz: A research review of large scale assessments in education and their social and intellectual organization

    11. Miguel A. Pereira, Antonio Luzón and Mónica Torres: The scholarly reception of the OECD’s PISA and the social and media impact. A preliminary study

    12. Daniel Pettersson and Christina Elde Mølstad: Who Governs the Numbers? The Framing of Educational Knowledge by TIMSS-research

    13. OECD as a site of coproduction: European education governance and the new politics of ‘policy mobilization’

    Section IV: The Dissolution of the Science/Society Distinction

    14. Sverker Lindblad, Daniel Pettersson and Thomas S. Popkewitz: On the making of educational facts in the intersection of science and society.

    15. Thomas S. Popkewitz: The Greyzone: The Cultural Inscription of Numbers: The Grey-Zone in International Comparison of School Result Research and Policy-Making


    Sverker Lindblad is Professor of Education and Special Education at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Daniel Pettersson is Associate Professor at the University of Gävle and Uppsala University, Sweden.

    Thomas S. Popkewitz is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA.