The Datafication of Primary and Early Years Education: Playing with Numbers, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Datafication of Primary and Early Years Education

Playing with Numbers, 1st Edition

By Alice Bradbury, Guy Roberts-Holmes

Routledge

158 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Description

The Datafication of Primary and Early Years Education explores and critically analyses the growing dominance of data in schools and early childhood education settings. Recognising the shift in practice and priorities towards the production and analysis of attainment data that are compared locally, nationally and internationally, this important book explores the role and impact of digital data in the ‘data-obsessed’ school. Through insightful case studies the book critiques policy priorities which facilitate and demand the use of attainment data, within a neoliberal education system which is already heavily focused on assessment and accountability. Using an approach influenced by policy sociology and post-foundational frameworks, the book considers how data are productive of data-driven teacher and child subjectivities. The text explores how data have become an important part of making teachers’ work visible within systems which are both disciplinary and controlling, while often reducing the complexity of children’s learning to single numbers.

Key ideas covered include:

  • The impact of data on the individual teacher and their pedagogical practice, particularly in play-based early years classrooms
  • The problems of collecting data through assessment of young children
  • How schools respond to increased pressure to produce the ‘right’ data – or how they ‘play with numbers’
  • How data affect children and teachers’ identities
  • International governance and data comparison, including international comparison of young children’s attainment
  • Private sector involvement in data processing and analysis

The Datafication of Primary and Early Years Education offers a unique insight into the links between data, policy and practice and is a crucial read for all interested in the ways in which data are affecting teachers, practitioners and children.  

Reviews

This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the methods deployed in the growing ‘datafication’ of education at ever younger ages and the consequences of this national and international trend, with the authors combining vivid examples and incisive critique of a powerful human technology.

Emeritus Professor Peter Moss, UCL Institute of Education

No sector of society appears to be escaping the rapid proliferation of data-based technologies of control and surveillance. In this insightful book, Bradbury and Roberts-Holmes comprehensively demonstrate that Early Years and Primary education is no exception. This book recognizes the need to initiate critical conversations about the current (mis)uses of data throughout schools and education systems. It also offers some perceptive ideas about what might be done differently … a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of schools and schooling.

Neil Selwyn, Professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: the state, data and primary education

Chapter 2: Theorising and researching data in education

Chapter 3: Datafication in the classroom: The production of data-driven subjectivities

Chapter 4: Data, reductionism and the problems of assessing young children

Chapter 5: Schools’ responses to datafication and the visibility of performance

Chapter 6: International datafication and business opportunities

Chapter 7: Datafied learner identities: Towards an understanding of the future of data in education

References

About the Authors

Alice Bradbury is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education, Practice and Society at the UCL Institute of Education, UK.

Guy Roberts-Holmes is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Learning and Leadership at the UCL Institute of Education, UK.

About the Series

Foundations and Futures of Education

Foundations and Futures of Education focuses on key emerging issues in education as well as continuing debates within the field. The series is inter-disciplinary, and includes historical, philosophical, sociological, psychological and comparative perspectives on the purposes and nature of education; increasing interdisciplinarity within the field; and the theory-practice divide.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDU000000
EDUCATION / General