Crouching target, hidden child
Drawing on interviews with 33 young people between the ages of 14 to 17 attending three English schools we examine their experiences of a personalised education system. The policy climate in England has for some time been one of intense and persistent reforms. The Labour Party took office in 1997 and advanced ‘personalised learning’ as a central reforming concept that made use of individual targets, data and pupil voice in the learning process. We identify that while the opportunities for productive voices are evident, the young people’s experience of it is inconsistent. Notably, the use of targets and data has often made them invisible and mute, and this affects how they understand the purposes of schools and their place within a school. Outcome data are a necessary and proper concern of schools. However, we suggest that the conceptualisation of learning, and the relational processes involved, are being damaged through the interpretation of voice as a means of delivering instrumental data sets. We argue this point using a conceptualisation of social practice and ethics drawn from Alasdair MacIntyre.
Management in Education
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified