Psychological governance and educational policies in the GERM era:The cases of Chile, Ecuador, and Australia

Year: 2021

Author: Palacios Díaz, Diego, Hidalgo, Felipe, Quay, John, Miller, Loren

Type of paper: Individual Paper

In the context of Global Educational Reform Movement (GERM), various trends and characteristics in educational policies have emerged, including privatization and marketization phenomena, standardization of teaching and learning, incorporation of corporate models of school management, among others (Ball, 2016; Sahlberg, 2016). A recent germ mutation, on a global–local scale, has been the design and implementation of strategies of psychological governance, which are understood as the extensive and complex forms of state-orchestrated public policy and integration of non-state actors that aim to shape people’s behaviour through the deployment of knowledge and techniques of psychological sciences (Pykett, Jones, & Whitehead, 2017). From a discursive approach based on the principles of Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (Arribas-Ayllon & Walkerdine, 2008) and Political Discourse Analysis (Fairclough & Fairclough, 2012), we analyse a set of Chilean, Ecuadorian, and Australian educational policies to understand the ways in which psychological governance strategies are incorporated in the formulation and implementation of current regulations in these countries. We discursively examine problematizations—problems and circumstances that affect contemporary societies and educational systems—and the strategies and technologies developed to address them. Discursively, the different educational policies promote high heterogeneity with regard to the modes of representing educational problems, and high homogeneity with regard to the modes of doing and acting in educational settings, where there consistently emerges psychological technologies and mechanisms that function market ideology. We discuss our findings regarding global trends of psychological governance in educational policies and the economic, political, and sociocultural implications for contemporary educational systems and societies.ReferencesArribas-Ayllon, M. & Walkerdine, V. (2008). Foucauldian Discourse Analysis. In C. Willig & W. Stainton-Rogers (Eds.) The SAGE handbook of qualitative research in psychology. (pp. 91–108). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.Ball, S. J. (2016). Neoliberal education? Confronting the slouching beast. Policy Futures in Education, 14(8), 1046–1059., I., & Fairclough, N. (2012). Political Discourse Analysis. A method for advanced students. London: Routledge.Pykett, J., Jones, R. & Whitehead, M. (2017). Introduction: Psychological governance and public policy. In J. Pykett, R. Jones, & M. Whitehead (Eds.), Psychological governance and public policy. Governing the mind, brain and behaviour (pp. 1–20). New York: Routledge.Sahlberg, P. (2016). The global educational reform movement and its impact on schooling. In K. Mundy, A. Green, B. Lindgard, & A. Verger (Eds.) The handbook of global educational policy (pp. 128–148). London: Routledge.