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Becoming-topologies of education: Deformations, networks and the database effect

Thompson, G. and Cook, I. (2014) Becoming-topologies of education: Deformations, networks and the database effect. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36 (5).

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This article uses topological approaches to suggest that education is becoming-topological. Analyses presented in a recent double-issue of Theory, Culture & Society are used to demonstrate the utility of topology for education. In particular, the article explains education's topological character through examining the global convergence of education policy, testing and the discursive ranking of systems, schools and individuals in the promise of reforming education through the proliferation of regimes of testing at local and global levels that constitute a new form of governance through data. In this conceptualisation of global education policy changes in the form and nature of testing combine with it the emergence of global policy network to change the nature of the local (national, regional, school and classroom) forces that operate through the ‘system’. While these forces change, they work through a discursivity that produces disciplinary effects, but in a different way. This new–old disciplinarity, or ‘database effect’, is here represented through a topological approach because of its utility for conceiving education in an increasingly networked world.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
School of Management and Governance
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright: © 2014 Taylor & Francis
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