Discourses of data occupy an ascendant position within schools and schooling systems throughout the world at present.  This seminar reveals the multiple ways in which data are constituted as a vehicle for governing teachers’ work and learning. To do so, the presentation focuses upon how teachers’ work and learning were construed in one school in the northern regions of the state of Queensland, Australia, over a two-year period. Drawing upon the concept of governance, including in relation to the sociology of numbers vis-à-vis education, the research reveals how teachers’ work and learning were constituted through practices of: establishing specific ‘targets,’ including various ‘audacious goals’ for school and national testing; ‘aligning’ all forms of school, regional and national data collected within the school, and; participation in various ‘data conversations’ about specific students with senior members of staff, particularly those students whose data indicated they could improve above designated thresholds. While the research reveals how some teachers found such practices beneficial for their own learning to improve their practice with students, it also shows how this learning was always and everywhere framed within broader discourses of data, and how this data-centric focus came to constitute what was valued about teachers’ work and learning, and that of their students.

Dr Ian Hardy
School of Education, The University of Queensland, i.hardy@uq.edu.au
Dr Hardy is Senior Lecturer and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2015-2018) at the School of Education, The University of Queensland. He researches educational policy and practice, with a particular focus upon teachers’ learning. Recent research has also involved inquiry into assessment policy and practices in Ontario, leadership practices in Finland, teacher reform in Sweden, and science curriculum policy in the United States. The presentation today focuses upon research undertaken in Queensland under current policy conditions of increased attention to data in a myriad of forms, including national test data.


To view the flyer please click here


Building 24 Room 402