The categories of human kinds in statistical reporting distinguish, enumerate, control, and orders deviations in relation to bureaucratic imperatives. Populational distinctions organize difference. That entails comparative installations that differentiate and divide those who are enlightened from those who do not have those qualities - the backward, the savage, and the barbarian of the 19th century and the at-risk and delinquent child of the present. School reforms, for example, are to provide an inclusive society in which "all children learn" and there is "no child left behind.
That gesture of hope overlaps with fears of the child whose characteristics are not cosmopolitan and a threat to the moral unity of the whole - the backward and feebleminded at the turn of the 20th century and the disadvantaged, the poor, and those populations designated as ethnic and immigrant, signified in the American context as the child "left behind. The construction of difference is complex as it entails processes of abjection.
The hope to include "all children" simultaneously entails a jettisoning of those particular groups. This jettisoning or casting out is called "abjection" in feminist and social theories and post-Kantian political theory. The apparatus of abjection is a way to consider how certain principles of inclusion produce others that do not enjoy the status of the subject, but whose lives are circumscribed by the cosmopolitan modes of living. The abjection is embodied in narratives of freedom and democracy in 19th-century American literature.
Morrison argues that such literature inscribed a language that "powerfully evoke[s] and enforce[s] hidden signs of racial superiority, cultural hegemony, and dismissive 'Othering' of people and language" MORRISON, , p. Today, that "Other", who is not yet inside, but recognized to be included yet different, is expressed in notions of the disadvantaged and the "child left behind" as signified in recent United States' legislation.
The process of abjection is embodied in the recognition given to excluded groups marked for inclusion, yet that recognition radically differentiates and circumscribes something else that is both repulsive and fundamentally undifferentiated from the whole see SHIMAKAWA, The category of "immigrant" is illustrative. The immigrant is a category of a group and individuals whose status is somewhere not quite "in" - worthy for inclusion, but excluded.
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The immigrant lives in the in-between spaces between requiring special intervention programs to enable access and equity and at the same time established difference and the Other, outside by virtue of their qualities of life. Abjection, then, is a way to think about the complex set of relations of inclusion and exclusion; the casting outside and placed in an in-between space and excluded in the same phenomenon as the cosmopolitanism of schooling.
Pedagogical practices are simultaneously drawing in and yet placing outside certain qualities of life and people. The processes of abjection are embodied in the differentiation of the cultural thesis of the lifelong learner from that of the disadvantaged child or "the child left behind" as simultaneous inscriptions in the phenomenon of reform. The latter child is recognized for inclusion yet placed in different spaces that produce otherness. We can explore the construction and abjection in the kind of people "at-risk. The notion of risk and "at-risk" embodies particular rules and standards for ordering problems, making judgments, and forming the possibilities of educational change.
When national and international statistics are examined, certain indicators of "at-risk" children are used to recognize those populations to be included. Embodied in the statistics of "at-risk" children are different categories of numbers that overlap educational, cultural, social, economic, and gendered discourses: truancy, school exclusion and crime, and students with special educational needs defined through a populational discourse of African-Caribbean children and children in childcare.
Classifying children and families as at-risk is a technology of governance through the rules of reason. Risk is "foremost a schema of rationality, a way of breaking down, rearranging, ordering certain elements of reality" EWALD, No one "properly" evades it. Its organizing schema of management and rationality can be realized in any and every kind of institution. Risk is a category that represents a complex system of ideas that, in a Kantian sense, refers to a no specific reality.
It is a category that fabricates human kinds: it is a fiction and it makes kinds of individuals. The recognition of populations at risk addressed is "factors, statistical correlations of heterogeneous elements" CASTEL, , p. As Castel , p. Risk illustrates a "double hermeneutics. It is also interactive as specific categories are linked to the individual to create individual biographies.
This is done by defining the individual as a member of a population that can be monitored and administered in order to prevent the displays of "risk" behaviors. Such reasoning produces knowledge of "otherness. Individuals begin to see their personal lives in relation to a trajectory that is provided by the actuarial tables of insurance. Time is no longer limited to the life space nor interactions of the individual.
While there is a disciplinary and political reflexivity about the uses and abuses of statistics, such reflexivity does not examine nor bring into question the rules and standards that are historically mobilized. Contemporary social and educational research rarely asks about the cultural principles that order the theories, concepts, and methods of curriculum research. This is particularly evident where curriculum research takes official categories and distinctions as its framework of investigation - such as the way that state categories of poverty, minority, and ethnicity formed the core conceptual assumptions and the origin of studies to correct inequities.
Our focus on the reasoning is to recognize a significant fact of modernity: governing is exercised less through brute force and more through the systems of reason that fabricate kinds of people and biographies. We have explored this governing through the cultural and political principles that are inscribed in statistics and numbers.
Statistical reason embodies the hope of social planning that a better life can be produced for individuals, but this hope involves tensions and paradoxes. Statistics is never merely its numbers, magnitudes, and equivalences. We argued that statistical reasoning connects social, cultural, scientific, and political discourses that form a single plane to make kinds of humans - people who are sites for state intervention and as biographies.
We focus on populations as fabricating particular "kinds of people" and biographies that inscribe subjectivities through planning people. The differentiating qualities of the populational data have self-referential qualities that not only define the individualities, but also the trajectories that order the problem and solutions for the life that one should live. We argued further that the making of kinds of people inscribes a continuum of values and double gestures that normalizes and differentiates the efforts toward inclusion.
While seeking inclusion, the very principles that are generated for inclusion divide and render certain groups as different, dangerous, and in need of intervention. It is possible to examine the territories marked for the freedom of the child and parent as simultaneously internments and enclosures that divide and exclude.
The argument poses a dilemma when focusing on international assessments of student performance as addressing inequities. The very acts of social administration deployed by statistical reporting to address issues of progress requires intervention through a practical causality that differentiates, distinguishes, and divides individual characteristics in a continuum of values about the normal and the deviant. By not questioning the kind of system of reason of statistics as it circulates in policy and research, the social and educational sciences lose their ability to diagnose the present critically.
The analysis also raises an important set of distinctions that circulate in the folklore of teaching, research, and policy. The division is seen in the decoupling of policy and practice in organizational theory and the often-found dismissal of research as part of "the ivory tower" of the university.
The latter is treated as having no connection to "what happens on the ground. The distinction of theory and practice, if we use the previous analysis, serves epistemological obstacles, to use loosely Gaston Bachelard's famous term, for understanding the governing functions in modern society and the different circuits through which inclusion and exclusion are produced.
Important to the reflexivity of educational and curriculum research is how particular conceptions and rules of reason circulate - how is it that the theoretical notions of probability theories and populational reasoning "fit" so well and are "seen" as "practical" to policy makers as well as to teachers in organizing school improvement plans that we discussed earlier? What is narrated as practice is not something providing a "real" and natural knowledge, but something that is produced through a complex set of discursive structuring that situates one as a historical actor and agent.
Pupils isolated from family, school and community at highest risk of exclusion
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We also learned that there were inconsistencies in the way different teachers viewed the problem and hence how they were likely to respond when situations arose. In our efforts to tackle the problem, I undertook to thoroughly investigate and document every incident and to share my findings with the pupil, staff member and parents. One trend emerged. Not only was it so often the same children presenting themselves, but certain staff members also seemed to feature more often than others.
None of this takes away from the fact that mental health issues are on the increase. My feeling is, as well as being mindful in that regard, schools need to increase their efforts first to address the things withing their remit to change before labelling children, especially very young children.
Were I still in headship, I would be very interested in looking more closely into the option of using Lesson Study. Upon cursory exploration, I anticipate its main drawback would be its heavy time demands on staff in our quick-fix school culture. There are always numerous interacting factors at work. The point is to recognise what is most salient in relation to specific students in specific contexts. Sounds obvious but few research models capture this dynamic. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
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February 26, at pm. It focuses on two areas: what contributes to instances of permanent exclusion from school, and what the effects are of its existence as a disciplinary option. I suspected that the existence of permanent exclusion from school might limit the realm of the possible, and I was particularly interested in how and why local government officers made particular decisions about children and young people.
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In other words, I wondered whether professionals might be negatively affected by the fact that at some point they would have the option of excluding a young person rather than either continuing to try to help them or to attempt to change the institution's approach to educating them. Rather than focusing on what children and young people 'did' behaviourally to 'get excluded', the thesis adopts a Foucauldian analysis to concentrate on their place within a larger 'policy community' which includes professionals and policy makers.
The research was undertaken through an ethnographic methodology conducted within my place of work as a pupil support officer, and the fieldwork itself lasted two years.
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