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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: (un)Doing standards in education with actor-network theory
Author(s): Fenwick, Tara
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Keywords: standards
educational policy
actor-network theory
Education Philosophy
Actor-network theory
Curriculum planning Cross-cultural studies
Issue Date: Mar-2010
Date Deposited: 15-Feb-2012
Citation: Fenwick T (2010) (un)Doing standards in education with actor-network theory. Journal of Education Policy, 25 (2), pp. 117-133.
Abstract: Recent critiques have drawn important attention to the depoliticized consensus and empty promises embedded in network discourses of educational policy. While acceding this critique, this discussion argues that some forms of network analysis – specifically those adopting actor-network theory (ANT) approaches - actually offer useful theoretical resources for policy studies. Drawing from ANT-inspired studies of policy processes associated with educational standards, the article shows the ambivalences and contradictions as well as the possibilities that can be illuminated by ANT analysis of standards as networks. The discussion outlines the diverse network conceptions, considerations and sensibilities afforded by ANT approaches. Then it shows four phenomena that have been highlighted by ANT studies of educational standards: ordering (and rupturing) practice through ‘immutable mobiles’, local universality, tensions among networks of prescription and networks of negotiation, and different co-existing ontological forms of the same standards. The conclusion suggests starting points, drawing from these ANT-inspired network analyses, for examining policy processes associated with educational standards.
DOI Link: 10.1080/02680930903314277
Rights: Published in Journal of Education Policy by Taylor & Francis (Routledge).; This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Education Policy, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2010, pp. 117 - 133. Journal of Education Policy is available online at:

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