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Waves of Standardisation

Paolo Landri (CNR-IRPPS, Italy)

Educational Standardisation in a Complex World

ISBN: 978-1-80071-590-5, eISBN: 978-1-80071-589-9

Publication date: 20 April 2022


Standards are normative specifications for the steering of education policy and practice. They aim to clarify educational objectives, means and practice, by giving a shape to the worlds of education. They raise criticisms of oversimplification often splitting the discussion in unnecessary oppositions between pro and con standardisation. To escape from a fruitless antagonism, this chapter proposes the concept of waves of standardisation. Standards are essential characteristics of any organisation, including schools. Historically, standardisation of education increases with the emergence of modernity, and in particular with the unfolding and consolidation of mass schooling. Since then, however, waves of standardisation develop into diverse political scenarios and are oriented by different rationales. More than a standard world of education, a world of standards sustained by several circuits of expertise where competing logics of justifications are embedded in various political rationalities is illustrated.



Landri, P. (2022), "Waves of Standardisation", Riese, H., Hilt, L.T. and Søreide, G.E. (Ed.) Educational Standardisation in a Complex World, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 25-42.



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