NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1068015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0159-6306
"Will I Learn What I Want to Learn?" Usable Representations, "Students" and OECD Assessment Production
Shahjahan, Riyad A.; Morgan, Clara; Nguyen, David J.
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v36 n5 p700-711 2015
Amid growing debates around international assessment tools in educational policy, few have critically examined how students themselves are cast in policy tool production processes and discourse. Drawing on Stuart Hall's concept of representation, we show how higher education (HE) "students" are constructed, fixed and normalized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO) initiative. Based on an analysis of AHELO texts, we argue that the OECD, during the early stages of test production, fixes and circulates the meaning of "students" as represented objects. We identify and analyze two distinct representational practices at work in AHELO texts: "classifying and organizing," and "marking." We posit that by fixing images of the student as an object of learning and as a consumer-investor subject, the OECD creates "usable" representations of "students" to claim jurisdiction over teaching and learning in HE and to justify intervention through standardized testing.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A