New shadow professionals and infrastructures around the datafied school : Topological thinking as an analytical device

Journal article


Lewis, Steven and Hartong, Sigrid. (2021). New shadow professionals and infrastructures around the datafied school : Topological thinking as an analytical device. European Educational Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.1177/14749041211007496
AuthorsLewis, Steven and Hartong, Sigrid
Abstract

Drawing upon the growing datafication of contemporary schooling, our purpose in this article is to use topological thinking as an analytical device to better understand the professionals and practices within emergent data infrastructures. We address this by attending to an influential national (and subnational) data infrastructure of school monitoring in the United States, managed by the federal Department of Education, known as EDFacts. Informed by policy documents relating to EDFacts, as well as by various related software platforms and portals, we explore the whom and how of datafication, and expose the increasing presence and influence of otherwise ‘hidden’ technology mediators, or ‘shadow professionals’. In particular, we argue that the increasing dependency of EDFacts on data has necessitated the introduction of new professional roles associated with optimising the flow of data, and thus stabilising and normalising the topological space of the infrastructure. We conclude by suggesting that EDFacts encourages teaching professionals and shadow professionals alike to engage in acts of data submission; that is, providing data to EDFacts and, at the same time, positioning themselves as wholly responsive to the infrastructure and its datafied renderings of schooling.

Keywordsdata; datafication; topology; infrastructure; EDFacts; policy; ‘shadow professionals’
Year2021
JournalEuropean Educational Research Journal
PublisherSAGE Publications Inc.
ISSN1474-9041
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/14749041211007496
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85104495994
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-15
FunderAustralian Research Council
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusIn press
Publication dates
Online15 Apr 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Aug 2021
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDARC/DE190101141
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