The Datafication of Primary and Early Years Education: Playing with Numbers

1st Edition

Alice Bradbury, Guy Roberts-Holmes

Published October 2, 2017
Reference - 158 Pages - 5 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138242173 - CAT# Y310811
Series: Foundations and Futures of Education

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The Datafication of Primary and Early Years Education explores and critically analyses the growing dominance of data in schools and early childhood education settings. Recognising the shift in practice and priorities towards the production and analysis of attainment data that are compared locally, nationally and internationally, this important book explores the role and impact of digital data in the ‘data-obsessed’ school. Through insightful case studies the book critiques policy priorities which facilitate and demand the use of attainment data, within a neoliberal education system which is already heavily focused on assessment and accountability. Using an approach influenced by policy sociology and post-foundational frameworks, the book considers how data are productive of data-driven teacher and child subjectivities. The text explores how data have become an important part of making teachers’ work visible within systems which are both disciplinary and controlling, while often reducing the complexity of children’s learning to single numbers.

Key ideas covered include:

  • The impact of data on the individual teacher and their pedagogical practice, particularly in play-based early years classrooms
  • The problems of collecting data through assessment of young children
  • How schools respond to increased pressure to produce the ‘right’ data – or how they ‘play with numbers’
  • How data affect children and teachers’ identities
  • International governance and data comparison, including international comparison of young children’s attainment
  • Private sector involvement in data processing and analysis

The Datafication of Primary and Early Years Education offers a unique insight into the links between data, policy and practice and is a crucial read for all interested in the ways in which data are affecting teachers, practitioners and children.  


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