Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy

Seminar with Sam Sellar, University of South Australia

“Unleashing aspiration: How education policy governs potential”

 
Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 10:00 to 12:00

Seminar with Sam Sellar, University of South Australia

“Unleashing aspiration: How education policy governs potential”

 

Abstract: This talk will examine the promises made in education policy regarding people’s future education, employment and social mobility. Contemporary education policies often invoke the need to avoid ‘wasting potential’ when justifying reform agendas directed at increasing human capital investment and reducing educational inequity. From the writings of Gilles Deleuze, I will draw a concept of potential that provides a theoretical framework for my analysis. I will then explore how the term ‘potential’ functions in policy to: (a) couple economic and equity purposes for education; and (b) imply a relationship between talent, opportunity and aspiration, including particular a distribution of responsibility between governments and citizens for ‘realising potential’. While primarily theoretical, my talk will be informed by analyses of interview data and documents in two research projects: (1) a small pilot study of higher education equity policy in England and Australia since the mid-1990s and (2) a study of the expansion of human capital theory and large-scale educational assessments to include future-oriented non-cognitive skills. I will argue that ‘potential’ operates as a key word in policy and raise questions about the risks of ostensibly progressive promises that formal education can ‘realise potential’.

Bio: Sam Sellar is Dean of Research and Professor of Education Policy in UniSA Education Futures at the University of South Australia. He was previously Reader in Education Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. Over the past decade, Sam’s research has explored affective dimensions of education policy and governance, including policy agendas in the UK and Australia that sought to raise aspirations for higher education. His current research focuses on anticipatory dimensions of education technology and EdTech market making. Sam has a forthcoming book with University of Minnesota Press titled Algorithms of Education: How Datafication and Artificial Intelligence Shape Policy  (co-authored with Kalervo N. Gulson and P. Taylor Webb).

This seminar is part of a seminar series hosted by Associate Professor Justine Grønbæk Pors and organized in relation to the research project ‘Gendered formations of educational interests and aspirations in primary and secondary schooling’. The project is funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark

 

The seminar is open for attendance through the following Zoom-link:   

Time: Nov 18, 2021 10:00 AM Copenhagen

https://cbs-dk.zoom.us/j/69568149502

Meeting ID: 695 6814 9502

 

The page was last edited by: Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy // 09/07/2021