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1st Edition

New Practices of Comparison, Quantification and Expertise in Education Conducting Empirically Based Research

Edited By Christina Elde Mølstad, Daniel Pettersson Copyright 2019
    ISBN 9780367731236
    264 Pages
    Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge

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    ISBN 9781138612853
    264 Pages
    Published March 27, 2019 by Routledge

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    New Practices of Comparison, Quantification and Expertise in Education discusses contemporary trends and activities related to comparisons and quantifications. It aims to help scholars to conduct empirically based research on how comparisons and quantifications are instituted in practice at different levels in the educational system.

    The book furthers discussions on policy by looking at the kinds of activities that comparisons and quantifications lead to at an international, regional and national level. Most of the book’s chapters are based on empirical research conducted in different research projects. The book thus brings all these projects together and discusses them as activities promoted by the reasoning of comparisons and quantifications.

    New Practices of Comparison, Quantification and Expertise in Education will be of great interest to academics, researchers and post-graduate students in the fields of comparative education, curriculum research and policy studies. It will also appeal to those in the fields of teacher education, including student teachers.


    Introduction by The Editors

    Chapter 1: A Chimera of Quantifications and Comparisons: The Changing of Educational ‘Expertise’ by Daniel Pettersson & Thomas S Popkewitz

    Chapter 2: Society speaks back: On the intimacy and complexity of comparative education research on a welfare state Agora by Rita Foss Lindblad & Sverker Lindblad

    Chapter 3: Three Waves of Education Standardisation: How the curriculum changed from a matter of concern to a matter of fact by Daniel Sundberg

    Chapter 4: Old Power, New Power and Ontological Flattening: The Global ‘Data Revolution’ in Education by Radhika Gorur

    Chapter 5: Intellectual and Social Organisation of International Large-scale Assessment Research by Sverker Lindblad & Daniel Pettersson

    Chapter 6: Evidently, the Broker Appears as the New Whizz-kid on the Educational Agora by Carl-Henrik Adolfsson, Eva Forsberg & Daniel Sundberg

    Chapter 7: Bridging worlds and spreading light: Intermediary actors and the translation of knowledge for policy in Portugal by Luís Miguel Carvalho, Sofia Viseu & Catarina Gonçalves

    Chapter 8: A data-driven school crisis by Andreas Nordin

    Chapter 9: Co-Production of Knowledge on the Educational Agora: Media Activities and ‘Logics’ by Gun-Britt Wärvik, Caroline Runesdotter & Daniel Pettersson

    Chapter 10: The Reception of Large-scale Assessments in China and India by Sarbani Chakraborty, Christina Elde Mølstad, Jingying Feng & Daniel Pettersson

    Chapter 11: Education Export and Import: New Activities on the Educational Agora by Kampei Hayashi

    Chapter 12: Measuring what we value, or valuing what we can measure? Performance indicators, school choice and the curriculum by Ulf Lundström

    Chapter 13: Supplementary Tutoring in Sweden and Russia – A Safety Net Woven with Numbers by Eva Forsberg, Tatiana Mikhaylova, Stina Hallsén & Helen Melander Bowden

    Chapter 14: School Certification: Marketing Schools by Appearance by Urban-Andreas Johansson & Christina Elde Mølstad

    A Summary and an invitation by the Editors

    List of Contributors



    Christina Elde Mølstad is Head of Department and Associate Professor at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.

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

    "Comparison and quantification have become the new lingua franca in education policy. They created the illusion that we speak the same language and share the same values all over the globe. How has this new mode of governance shaped, and narrowed, our options of acting educationally? This book makes us dig deeper and think about the rationales and consequences of today’s "expertise by numbers." Thought provoking, inspiring, and highly recommended."

    Gita Steiner-Khamsi, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.

    "The practices of comparison and quantification are no longer a specialist and minor element in education, they have become the foremost and dominant way of governing the system, and yet their speed, scope and scale seem to escape analysis and critique.

    As a consequence, older educational categories are used as if they remain unchanged yet quantification has subverted, hollowed out, reworked and overthrown familiar landscapes and subjects and produced a shadow non-place. This excellent and thoughtful set of essays will be essential to illuminate the ground we should stand on in our research."

    Professor Martin Lawn, University of Edinburgh.

    "The importance of numbers has been a preoccupation for educational researchers for decades. Yet, too little research has focused on the level of policy and the results that international, regional and national level comparisons and quantifications can have on our education systems globally. This publication fills this gap by focusing on contemporary trends and activities related to quantification in educational research. The overall argument is both provocative and important specifically as it relates to the context of a ‘chimera’ of quantifications and comparisons, ‘number-intelligent’ activities and a ‘fear of being left behind’ or of not being ‘included’ in numbers game in education. Theoretically profound and politically com

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