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Terms of Talent in an Upper Secondary Danish School Context: Local Reactions to Standardisation of Educational Talent

Anette Rasmussen (Aalborg University, Denmark)

Educational Standardisation in a Complex World

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

Publication date: 20 April 2022


In the context of globalisation, setting standards for excellence in education is considered necessary to enhance human capital to ensure future global competitiveness of the national economies (Rasmussen & Lingard, 2018). In line with education thus being set up as the basis for the economy, the development of talent has become an important part of the education political agenda in Denmark. This agenda claims that the Danish mass of talent should develop to a high level, and even more students should reach the highest levels of excellence (Ministry of Education, 1997). Accordingly, it labels the next generation of students ‘the mass of talent’.

This chapter questions the terms of talent applied in global education policies and their enactment into other agendas of concurrent standardisation and diversity. Empirically, the analysis of the wider policy context draws on policy texts at EU, OECD, and national level, in particular a ministerial report from 2011 (Rasmussen & Ydesen, 2020), as well as information materials and ethnographic case study research on a talent programme at upper secondary school level in Denmark (Bomholt & Rasmussen, 2020).

The analysis departs in an ambition to uncover the questions, how do global education policies frame standards for talent in a national context and how does this standardisation interact with the standards produced in the local programme? Therefore, the chapter focuses on the terms of talent applied in policy contexts at different levels of the specific case. For this, it employs the analytical approach of policy technologies (Ball, 2008), which involves viewing talent from the three policy technological perspectives of market, management and performance. They form a generic part of global convergence and work across the public sector as a whole.

It combines the empirical levels of macro and micro by referring to policy text and enactment at the global, national and local school level. The combination means first outlining the historical background for the policies in question and then considering how local actors bring their terms of talent into action at municipal and school level (Ball, Maguire, & Braun, 2012), emphasising the different actor rationalities.



Rasmussen, A. (2022), "Terms of Talent in an Upper Secondary Danish School Context: Local Reactions to Standardisation of Educational Talent", Riese, H., Hilt, L.T. and Søreide, G.E. (Ed.) Educational Standardisation in a Complex World, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 85-103.



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