26 June 2018 at 18:17 #929
I am a 1st year PhD student in education at the University of Tampere (Finland), and a member of a research group EduKnow that focuses on the knowledge, power, and politics in education.
I have a MA in education and M.Soc.Sci in sociology (University of Helsinki). In MA the focus was on the sociology and politics of education (mainly qualitative approaches), and in my thesis I analysed the historical formation of the Finnish university funding model (using Foucaultian framework). The content of M.Soc.Sci was general sociology (mainly quantitative approaches), and my thesis there dealt with inheritance of cultural capital in Finland (Bourdieusian framework). In bachelors’ I majored in math and in philosophy.
Main themes of investigation
My current main research interests lie in knowledge systems and professional expertise in (higher) education politics, and one of my main interests is to decipher the (soft-)power effects that production, circulation, and use of knowledge have on policy-making. My perspective on governance pools together notions of decentralisation, formal and informal networks/relations between policy actors, politics as a profession. As empirical research questions my specific research interests can be formulated as follows: what counts as knowledge and to whom (struggle over criteria of legitimacy); how and where is knowledge generated, transformed, used and disseminated (genealogy); who or what are the approved or trusted sources of knowledge (authorised subject positions). I have studied these issues in the context of Finnish university funding politics, and my next two areas to explore them are (1) the EU’s Modernisation agenda for higher education, and its impact on and interplay with the Finnish higher education politics, and (2) the education policy expert community in Finland.
Paper intended to write
My paper proposal would then be a comparative article about how knowledge is used in education politics in different countries within some specific, comparable policy issue or process. My preferred choice for the issue/process would of course be something related to the Modernisation agenda, as it is a topical process dealt with in all EU member states, and bringing in the agenda would fit the SUSEES theme of Europeanisation. (Other issues/processes will do as well, but preferably in the context of higher education.) Data would consist of EU and national level policy documents, with potential interviews. For the analysis technique I would suggest either discourse analysis (Foucaultian or Faircloughian) or content analysis, depending on the team’s preferences and data. I prefer grounded theory approaches, but a suitable and data-respecting theoretical apparatus is OK as well.
Starting knowledge (empirical material, theory, methods)
Regarding Modernisation agenda (or any other higher education issue), I have access to all the relevant Finnish data (and, if needed, to the proper interviewees) at national level. In terms of methods, any qualitative analysis technique is fine with me.
Knowledge needed to complete the paper
I am not sure whether there is a coherent theoretical framework for this type of study, so there’s an obvious shortage. Maybe combining studies in the use of knowledge in politics and comparative political theory might do the trick, but a more developed theoretical standpoint would be useful. More importantly, I have limited access to knowledge about how knowledge is used in education politics in other countries, and that is something that might be addressed by an international research team.27 June 2018 at 15:45 #950
Hi Jarmo! In your opinion, is the modernisation you refer to, in some ways, related to innovation?27 June 2018 at 16:48 #952
Hi Danilo! Yes it is, at least at the instututional level. You can access the latest communication from the commission here: https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/he-com-2017-247_en.pdf
I took a look at your post, and it seems there is convergence between the innovation speech in the Agenda and your interest, but you might want to take a look at the Agenda as well, whether my impression is correct.28 June 2018 at 16:31 #959
Thx! C u on monday
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