Education as national and global instrument of governance

Contact: Cristina Alarcón López and Barbara Schulte

Both at present and historically, education has been used as a tool of governance at local, national, and global levels. Our research is interested in the utilization of assessment studies/rankings and globally effective testing regimes, as well as in the interaction of educational policy and educational/pedagogical practices.

This includes e.g.
(i)    vocational education as an educational-cum-political instrument of governing and disciplining, against the background of a massive educational expansion and the perceived threat of societal destabilization;
(ii)    non-government educational associations as parts of a state corporatist governance model;
(iii)    processes of de-/re-regulation and privatization of education;
(iv)    educational policy implementation as the local re-enactment of macropolitical narratives;
(v)    the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) as a global tool of educational governance, and its entanglement with national political agendas.

Ongoing projects:

Postdoc project (Alarcón Lopez) on the globalization of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

Selected publications:
Alarcón, C. (2015). Governing by testing: circulation, psychometric knowledge, experts and the “Alliance for Progress” in Latin America during the 1960s and 1970s. European Education, 47(3), 199–214.

Larsen, J. E., Thue, F. W., & Schulte, B. (Eds.). (2022). Schoolteachers and the Nordic model: Comparative and historical perspectives. Routledge.

Schulte, B. (2012a). Joining Forces to Save the Nation: Corporate educational governance in Republican China. In J. Y. J. Hsu & R. Hasmath (Eds.), The Chinese corporatist state: Adaption, survival and resistance (pp. 10–28). Routledge.

Schulte, B. (2012b). World culture with Chinese characteristics: When global models go native. Comparative Education, 48(4), 473–486.

Schulte, B. (2013a). Europe refracted: Western education in China. European Education, 44(4), 67–87.

Schulte, B. (2013b). Unwelcome stranger to the system: Vocational education in early twentieth-century China. Comparative Education, 49(2), 226–241.

Schulte, B. (2017a). China. In Silke Trumpa, Doris Wittek, & Anne Sliwka (Eds.), Die Bildungssysteme der erfolgreichsten PISA-Länder: China, Finnland, Japan, Kanada und Korea [The educational systems of the most successful PISA countries: China, Finland, Japan, Canada and South Korea] (pp. 21–49). Waxmann.

Schulte, B. (2017b). Hochschulen Chinas. Zwischen Traditionen und Reformen im Kontext der globalen Wissensökonomie [Universities in China. Between Tradition and Reform in the Context of the Global Knowledge Economy]. In Joachim Freimuth & Monika Schädler (Eds.), Innovationskompetenz in der chinesischen Industrie und die globale Wissensökonomie [Innovation Skills in Chinese Industry and the Global Knowledge Economy] (p. forthcoming). Springer-Gabler.

Schulte, B. (2017c). Private schools in the People’s Republic of China: Development, modalities and contradictions. In T. Koinzer, R. Nikolai, & F. Waldow (Eds.), Private schools and school choice in compulsory education. Global change and national challenge (pp. 115–131). Springer.

Schulte, B. (2017d). Strategiskt lånande: John Dewey och den kinesiska utbildningen från 1919 och till i dag [Strategic borrowing: John Dewey and Chinese education, from 1919 until today]. In J. Landahl & C. Lundahl (Eds.), Bortom PISA. Internationell och jämförande pedagogik [Beyond PISA. An introduction to international and comparative education] (pp. 243–283). Natur & Kultur.

Schulte, B. (2018a). Allies and competitors: Private schools and the state in China. In G. Steiner-Khamsi & A. Draxler (Eds.), The state, business and education: Public-private partnerships revisited (pp. 68–84). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Schulte, B. (2018b). Envisioned and enacted practices: Educational policies and the ‘politics of use’ in schools. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 50(5), 624–637.

Schulte, B. (2019). Curse or blessing? Chinese academic responses to China’s PISA performance. In Gita Steiner-Khamsi & Florian Waldow (Eds.), Understanding PISA’s attractiveness: Critical analyses in comparative policy studies (pp. 177–197). Bloomsbury.

Schulte, B., & Wermke, W. (2019). Internationellt jämförande pedagogik: En introduktion [Comparative and International Education: An introduction]. Liber.