Conceptual and Methodological Challenges in Studying Education Policies and Practices in a Globalising World

Public Lecture Series

Conceptual and Methodological Challenges in Studying Education Policies and Practices in a Globalising World

Susan L. Robertson,
Centre for Globalisation, Education and Societies,

Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, UK

Ponderosa G. Lounge, Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 12:30–14:00 Download iCal

Abstract

In this lecture I lay out some important challenges in attempting to undertake critical education policy analysis in an increasingly globalised, and globalising, world. As a point of entry, I reflect upon John Prunty’s signposts for doing critical education policy published in 1985, and ask: how have our educational worlds changed since then, and what might be some signposts for our contemporary era? I identify, and elaborate upon, five signposts which we might consider: the challenges in conceptualising the global; the significance of new policy actors beyond the state as producers of policy; the state of play in terms of emerging approaches; the transformations in political authority and what that means for policy as contested; and the new challenges in doing critical work when much policy is produced by private transnational actors. In reflecting on these developments for transformations taking place in sectors like schooling and in higher education, I suggest that we need an expanded theoretical and methodological agenda in order to enable the field to make contributions to wider debates on the education, politics, and social justice.

Bio

Susan is a Professor of Sociology of Education in the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. Her academic career has spanned four countries—Australia, Canada, New Zealand and England. She is founding Director of the Centre for Globalisation, Education and Societies (GES) at the University of Bristol as well as founding co-editor (with Roger Dale) of the journal Globalisation, Societies and Education. Her research is focused on the study of education and broader social, economic and political forces by analysing the complexities of globalising and regionalising projects, strategies and materialisations. She has been particularly influential in her work in introducing critical spatial studies into her analyses of education policy and state transformations.