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ERIC Number: EJ1157387
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1573-1812
Artifacts as Authoritative Actors in Educational Reform
März, Virginie; Kelchtermans, Geert; Vermeir, Karen
Journal of Educational Change, v18 n4 p439-464 Nov 2017
Educational reforms are often translated in and implemented through artifacts. Although research has frequently treated artifacts as merely functional, more recent work acknowledges the complex relationship between material artifacts and human/organizational behavior. This article aims at disentangling this relationship in order to deepen our understanding of the role of artifacts within processes of educational change. In particular, we study the implementation of a data-transfer instrument developed to stimulate care continuity between primary and secondary schools. In order to understand an artifact's authority and to unravel its role in processes of innovation, we turned to organizational routines and neo-institutional theory. Drawing on data from an artifact analysis and semi-structured interviews, this article reports how this artifact not only transfers data, but also changed the discursive interactions (routines) in the school team around care. From an institutional perspective, implementing the artifact can be viewed as an answer to institutional forces that are pressurizing organizations to conform to particular ideas of what care and care continuity should ideally look like. The use of the artifact contributed to the schools' organizational legitimacy by serving their symbolic needs and it enabled them to position themselves towards stakeholders, parents and other schools as a truly legitimate school.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A