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Tendencies and Trends

Chapter
Part of the Educational Governance Research book series (EGTU, volume 2)

Abstract

When we look for general tendencies in the development of the role of Nordic educational superintendents, we find that social technologies have become fundamental features of contemporary governance, education and comparisons. Social technologies are procedures, recipes, manuals, methods, indicators etc. that are produced and implemented for the use of authorities to govern institutions and individuals. Contemporary social technologies are to a high degree formed by neoliberal marketplace discourse and thus by ‘new public management’ ideologies: they are basically intended as a tool to further collaboration, trade and exchange across national borders when building a global marketplace. Therefore we also see that they mostly context- and content-free, but nevertheless pursue marketplace homogenisation. We see that the most important social technologies in educational leadership and governance are evidence-based decisions, best practices, governing by indicators, standards and numbers, accreditations and certifications. We therefore rename the New Public Management (NPM) into New Public Governance (NPG). We see the same tendency at the very core of education: prescribing national or international indicators, standards and procedures like best practice, shifting the focus from education and teaching to effective learning that is to be measured with international tests and without discussion of the purpose of the activities, nor of the circumstances and relations in which education and learning take place. It seems to us that these tendencies will become the trends of the future, unless directions and means are changed dramatically.

Keywords

Tendencies Comparisons Neo-liberal discourses Social technologies New Public Governance (NPG) 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lejf Moos
    • 1
  • Elisabet Nihlfors
    • 2
  • Jan Merok Paulsen
    • 3
  1. 1.Danish School of EducationAarhus UniversityCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of EducationUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Faculty of Teacher Education and International StudiesOslo and Akershus University College of Applied ScienceOsloNorway

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