Governing knowledge in Europe: Teaching and learning for the Knowledge Economy/Knowledge Society?

The overall aim of this planned project is to contribute to the understanding of education policy as a key arena for understanding Europeanisation, and its relationship to globalisation. By considering current processes and programs of curriculum reform in Europe as a key problematic in the field of education, the ambition is to examine the role of knowledge in governance and the governance of knowledge in Europe.

Project member at the University of Skövde: Maria Olson, Senior lecturer in Education, post doctoral fellow

The particular task of the project is to examine and compare curricula reforms in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland and the UK (England and Scotland). These examinations are further assessed in terms of what the contribute to as regards a global/European ‘imaginary’ of the knowledge Economy/knowledge Society. The ‘Swedish’ collaborative part of the project involves an examination of Swedish curricula as the element of special interest. The Swedish setting is also compared with the other European ‘local’ national contexts.

The aims of the project are to:
1.  understand the problematic of curriculum as a point of articulation between the past and the future that encapsulates tensions about the role of knowledge in governance and the governance of knowledge in Europe

2.  develop new methodological and theoretical approaches to comparative education in Europe, combining a focus on Europeanisation with attention to curriculum as knowledge practices that are performed, imagined and practiced in different locations, with different effects

3.   contribute to the understanding of the relationship between knowledge and governance in contemporary European policy 

We aim to contribute to the understanding of education policy as a key arena for understanding Europeanisation and its relationship to globalisation. Methodologically we draw from Fairclough and Wodak’s argument that the governance of education/learning in Europe through ‘soft’ governance forms relies heavily on discourse (2008:114). Methodologically, then, we will analyse curriculum policy in relation to the ‘knowledge’ that it references.

The research project is based on a proposal made in March 2010 to the European Science Foundation. More specifically, it is made within the frame of European Collaborative Research Projects in the Social Sciences (ECRP) – ECRP VI (2010). Its time of duration is 3 years (2011-2013).

Research leader:

Professor Jenny Ozga, Centre of Educational Sociology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Project members (in the Swedish part of the collaborative project):

Professor Lisbeth Lundahl, Department of Child and Youth education, Special Education and Councelling, Umeå University, Sweden
Dr Ulf Lundström, Department of Child and Youth education, Special Education and Councelling, Umeå University, Sweden
Dr Maria Olson, School of Humanities and Informatics, University of Skövde, Sweden www.his.se/olom