University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series > New Educational Governance in Post-Socialist Education Space: Examining the (Side)Effects of International Comparisons, Benchmarking, and Best Practices

New Educational Governance in Post-Socialist Education Space: Examining the (Side)Effects of International Comparisons, Benchmarking, and Best Practices

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The International comparisons and benchmarking have become a major influence on education policy-making in Central Asia and other post-Soviet states. Joining the international student achievement studies such as PISA , TIMSS, and TALIS have brought significant benefits to participating countries, while also enabling the new political technologies of governing the post-Soviet education space by numbers. International benchmarking, and the “best practices” that come along with it, have contributed to the production of educational knowledge that not only attempts to explain education phenomena but also constructs “norms” embedded in education policies and practices. This presentation will analyze how the national educational policy arenas in Eastern/Central Europe and Central Asia have been shaped by the external monitoring of transnational actors and what effects the technologies of cross-border comparison have had on national educational systems. Drawing on post-colonial critique, this presentation will also examine the newly emerging system of knowledge production in the post-socialist region, where Western experts increasingly assume the position of framing the contemporary “problems” of education and identifying a set of generic “solutions” or “best practices.” Pointing to the unequal power dynamics, this presentation will discuss implications of this new educational governance for education reform trajectories.

This talk is part of the Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series series.

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