Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

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).

PDF - Authors' Version
Download (498kB) | Preview
Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


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.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
School of Management and Governance
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright: © 2014 Taylor & Francis
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year