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Sonia Livingstone and Julian Sefton-Green

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479884575

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479884575.001.0001

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Learning at School

Learning at School

Measuring and “Leveling” the Self

Chapter:
(p.127) 6 Learning at School
Source:
Class
Author(s):

Sonia Livingstone

Julian Sefton-Green

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479884575.003.0007

In chapter 6, we take a close look at something that surprised us. The classroom in VFS in 2011–2012, as in many other UK schools, was heavily framed by the measurement system implemented in support of the government-mandated national curriculum. The result was a discursive and practical focus on “levels”—with learning managed through a rigorous regime of quantification and standardization that extended across all subjects, even including out-of-school activities. As with the emphasis on civility, the focus on levels also served to bound the classroom as an inwardly focused space that impeded flexible flows of learning across home, school, and elsewhere, distancing parents and constraining teachers. Beyond the surprise of uncovering so endemic a language of learning, what surprised us even more was that the students, parents, and teachers all preferred to embrace levels rather than risk more diverse, creative, or networked visions of learning.

Keywords:   Curriculum, Measurement, Levels, Values, School information management system, Educational statistics, Discipline and control, Standardization of learning, Discourse of learning, Risk-averse

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