Exploring the role of digital data in contemporary schools and schooling—‘200,000 lines in an Excel spreadsheet’

Journal article


Selwyn, Neil, Henderson, Michael and Chao, Shu-Hua. (2015). Exploring the role of digital data in contemporary schools and schooling—‘200,000 lines in an Excel spreadsheet’. British Educational Research Journal. 41(5), pp. 767-781. https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3186
AuthorsSelwyn, Neil, Henderson, Michael and Chao, Shu-Hua
Abstract

The generation, processing and circulation of data in digital form is now an integral aspect of contemporary schooling. Based upon empirical study of two secondary school settings in Australia, this paper considers the different forms of digitally-based ‘data work’ engaged in by school leaders, managers, administrators and teachers. In particular, three distinct aspects of school data work are explored: (i) the distinction between official ‘mandated’ data requirements from external government agencies, and the unofficial efforts to generate and work with ‘useful’ data; (ii) the highly mediated nature of digital data work within schools; (iii) the ways in which digital data lead to compromised knowledge and ‘work arounds’. These findings, it is argued, illustrate the embedding of digital data within secondary schools as a technology of (self)control in ways that tend to reinforce dominant cultures of school administration and management. As such, the paper considers how the restrictive forms of data governance currently at large within school systems might be problematized and acted against.

Year2015
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Journal citation41 (5), pp. 767-781
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN0141-1926
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3186
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84943200691
Page range767-781
FunderSpencer Foundation
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online13 Apr 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Oct 2023
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8zv4z/exploring-the-role-of-digital-data-in-contemporary-schools-and-schooling-200-000-lines-in-an-excel-spreadsheet

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