Educational Philosophy and Theory 41 (3):342-361 (2009)
|Abstract||Contemporary education now appears to be dominated by the continual drive for improvement measured against the assessment of what students have learned. It is our contention that a foundational relation with assessment organises contemporary education. Here we draw on a 'way of thinking' that is deconstructive in its intent. Such thinking makes clear the vicious circularity of the argument for improvement, wherein assessment valorised in discourses of improvement provides not only a rationalisation for improvement via assessment, but also the very means of achieving such possibilities via targets grounded in limited specifications of assessment. On reading Heidegger's 'question concerning technology' we sought to reconsider the vicious circle of improvement in relation to Being. We claim that the means-ends driven technology of assessment, rather than being at our disposal and under our control, only serves to reveals the Real to us in accordance with the restricting principle of reason. The principle of reason, we argue, grounds 'Enframing' that ranks and orders the very beings of education as objects to produce an objective 'world as picture', rather than opening the possibility of their identity as belongings with a movement of difference. So, 'improvement' becomes normative and binding for institutions and practices on grounds of the principle of assessment, and renders agents of education as functionaries of 'Enframing'.|
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