Call for Papers: The WPR approach and policies on education in the digital age: China and its global peers

25-26th Oct 2023
Leibniz Institute for Educational Media
Georg-Eckert-Institut, Braunschweig, Germany
Deadline: 15th Aug 2023

In this workshop, we want to bring scholars together in order to use the ‘What is the problem represented to be’ approach created by Carol Bacchi to analyse policies on educational digitalisation in China and to explore the following three areas. Firstly, we want to bring fresh theoretical impulses into the analysis of policies issued by the state. For decades China has been a policy ‘borrower’ in the field of education but in recent years the Chinese government has placed an increasing emphasis on the construction of its own discourses and on positioning itself as a key player in the field of educational digitalisation. We aim to move beyond a merely descriptive analysis, and primarily to understand what visions of good education or of good pupils, teachers and parents are articulated and normalised in state discourses. We further-more intend to look into the role ascribed to other agencies involved in the digitalisation of education such as ed-tech companies and NGOs. Secondly, because ‘government’ is not limited to the state but includes other agencies as well, we also want to question the visions articulated by those other agencies. For example, in recent years the number of companies providing digital solutions for school education has increased significantly. Traditional tech giants such as Tencent and Alibaba as well as newly emerged Edtech companies such as Class In and Seewo are presenting their innovative tools to teachers and local officials, receiving feedback on their use and thus shaping the practices of schools and administrations. Finally, the workshop will seek to contribute to the discussion surrounding governmentality in China. Scholars have noticed the emergence of a hybrid type of governance in China, apparent especially in the relationship between neoliberal and authoritarian politics, both of which are shaping social norms and the behaviour of individuals and collectives. The policy and practice of educational digitalisation provide both macro and micro perspectives that illustrate the interaction between different agencies in shaping educational digitalisation, which in turn contain social orders and norms.
We would also welcome scholars who focus on policies of educational digitalisation in other national or international contexts to provide a global and comparative perspective.

For detailed information, please see the attached Call for Papers: