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Legitimization of knowledge: policy versus research by PISA and TIMSS
Hedmark University College, Elverum, Norway.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences.
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: NERA 2016, Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education: Book of Abstracts, 2016, 148-149 p.Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In society, different testsof educational performance have been given importance in policy initiatives, curriculum change, as well as in media. Throughout the last 15 years, the educational assessment programs PISA and TIMSS have been reference points for general economic and social policies and influential for national educational policy (Pettersson 2014). Research using PISA-and TIMSS-data and results are recurrently referred to in media debates (Forsberg & Román 2014) and in arguments for policy reforms and curriculum development. Given the importance of this discourse as a social practice it is crucial to take into account how International Large-Scale Assessment (ILSA) research is institutionalized.

The main objective of this study is to enlarge our understanding about key actors and the legitimation and dissemination of different kinds of knowledge within the ILSA-research field. We analyse research articles reporting and discussing PISA and TIMSS data, respectively. Our corpus consists of articles published in international peer-reviewed journals and represents a selection of “high-impact” articles present in Web of Sciences. We focus on the disciplinary belonging of the journals and the affiliation of the authors of the articles as well as the publications referred in the articles. In addition, we pay attention to other articles referencing the PISA and TIMSS articles in our corpus.

Our specific research questions are: what is the difference between actors and knowledge legitimized by the selected PISA and TIMSS articles? This is investigated by exploring which authors, fields and countries that are connected to the corpus through the method of scientometrics, which has demonstrated a potential in using research-databases for studying patterns of research activity.

Our findings illuminate that there is a substantial difference in actors defining the discourse within PISA and TIMSS. TIMSS research is more internationally spread. In PISA research there was a large bias towards English speaking westernized nations in dissemination. For TIMSS research, USA and Germany are the most evident countries for author affiliation, and Egypt is the third most common country, followed by countries like People’s Republic of China and Turkey. Additionally within PISA research it was possible to observe two substantial key nodes of research environments. Notes of research are also evident in TIMSS research, but in comparison to PISA they are not that dominant. This also holds true concerning journals for publishing -TIMSS articles are more spreadin terms of different journals. Finally, connected to the PISA articles there is a connection between the research fields of education and psychology in framing the context of the phenomenon in focus as a new mode of global educational governance as well as reformulation of the relationship between curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation. This is not identified in the TIMSS articles, where education research is dominant. Based on our findings the PISA research field seems more aligned with an external political discourse while the TIMSS research field appears to be constituted primarily by an internal research discourse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. 148-149 p.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21374OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-21374DiVA: diva2:915708
Conference
NFPF/NERA’s 44th Congress, NERA 2016, Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education, 9-11 March 2016, Helsinki, Finland
Available from: 2016-03-30 Created: 2016-03-30 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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