Policy Production Through the Media: The Case of More Mathematics in Early Childhood Education
This chapter explores how politicians’ use of the media can disrupt educational traditions. Analysis of the discursive resources that a Norwegian Minister of Education used in a single authored debate article in a Norwegian newspaper shows that he drew on a well-known argument for why schools should teach mathematics, that of the need for socio-economic development of society. The use of this argument, rather than other arguments such as those about civic development, which would be more in alignment with the social pedagogy approach traditionally characterising early childhood education in Norway, seems to indicate that the Minister was promoting a shift in approach to one of preparing children for school. This example of the use of the media to determine how policy shifts are made is explored in relationship to promoting a new kind of “common sense” which does not require public discussion or input from mathematics education researchers.
KeywordsMedia rhetoric Early childhood mathematics Policy shifts Economic development Politicians
- Anderson, G. L. (2005). Performing school reform in the age of the political spectacle. In B. K. Alexander, G. L. Anderson, & B. Gallegos (Eds.), Performance theories in education: Power, pedagogy, and the politics of identity (pp. 199–220). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Anderson, G. L. (2007). Media’s impact on educational policies and practices: Political spectacle and social control. Peabody Journal of Education, 82(1), 103–120. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25594736.
- Barnehageloven, Lov om barnehager: LOV-2005-06-17-64. (2005).Google Scholar
- Barwell, R., & Abtahi, Y. (2015). Morality and news media representations of mathematics education. In S. Mukhopadhyay & B. Greer (Eds.), Proceedings of the Eights International Mathematics Education and Society, 21st–26th June 2015, Portland Oregon (pp. 298–311). Portland: Mathematics Education and Society. Available from: http://mescommunity.info/.
- Digranes, T. (2014, August 7). Kunnskapsløst av kunnskapsministeren. At Torbjørn Røe Isaksen vet så lite om barnehagens innhold, er svært overraskende. Bergens Tidende. Retrieved from http://www.bt.no/meninger/debatt/Kunnskapslost-av-kunnskapsministeren-3172003.html.
- Edelman, M. (1964/1985). The symbolic uses of politics: With a new Afterword. Urbana IL: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
- Edelman, M. (1977). Political language: Words that succeed and policies that fail. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Edelman, M. (1988). Constructing the political spectacle. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Gellert, U., Jablonka, E., & Keitel, C. (2001). Mathematical literacy and common sense in mathematics education. In B. Atweh, H. Forgasz, & B. Nebres (Eds.), Sociocultural research on mathematics education (pp. 57–73). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Hjarvard, S. (2008). The mediatization of society: A theory of the media as agents of social and cultural change. Nordicom Review, 29(2), 105–134.Google Scholar
- Isaksen, T. R. (2014, August 9). Matte i barnehagen (Maths in kindergarten). Bergens Tidende. Retrieved from http://www.bt.no/meninger/debatt/Matte-i-barnehagen-3173406.html.
- Jönsson, I., Sandell, A., & Tallberg-Bromann, I. (2012). Change or paradigm shift in the Swedish preschool? Sociologia, Problemas e Prácticas, 69, 47–61. Available from: http://spp.revues.org/815.
- Kunnskapsdepartementet. (2011). Framework plan for the content and tasks of kindergarten. Oslo: Author [The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research].Google Scholar
- LeBlanc, R. J. (2012). Representing new math: Genre chains and controversy in the Saskatchewan Media. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 58(2), 286–299.Google Scholar
- McLaren, P. (1989). Life in schools: An introduction to critical pedagogy in the foundations of education. London: Longman.Google Scholar
- Meaney, T., Helenius, O., Johansson, M., Lange, T., & Wernberg, A. (Eds.). (2016). Mathematics education in the early years: Results from the POEM2 conference, 2014. New York: Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23935-4.
- Miller-Kahn, L., & Smith, M. L. (2001). School choice policies in the political spectacle. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 9(50), 1–41. Available from: http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/issue/view/vol9.
- Niss, M. (1996). Goals of mathematics teaching. In A. J. Bishop, K. Clement, C. Keitel, J. Kilpatrick, & C. Laborde (Eds.), International handbook of mathematics education (pp. 11–47). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
- Norske elevar gir opp for lett: Kunnskapsminister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H) meiner elevane må lære å anstrenge seg. (2014, August 3). Bergens Tidende. Retrieved from http://www.bt.no/nyheter/lokalt/–Norske-elevar-gir-opp-for-lett-3170167.html.
- Schaanning, E. (2015). Hvis skolematematikken ikke fantes. Arr - idéhistorisk tidsskrift, (4 Liv, Arr, idéhistorie. Festtidsskrift til Espen Schaanning). Available from: http://www.arrvev.no/artikkel/hvis-skolematematikken-ikke-fantes.
- Sjøberg, S. (2014). PISA-syndromet: Hvordan norsk skolepolitikk blir styrt av OECD. Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift, 31(1), 30–43.Google Scholar
- Sjøberg, S. (2015). PISA and global education governance—A critique of the project, its uses and implication. Science & Technology Education, 11, 111–127. https://doi.org/10.12973/eurasia.2015.1310a.
- Stack, M. (2006). Testing, testing, read all about it: Canadian press coverage of the PISA results. Canada Journal of Education, 29(1), 49–69. Available from: http://www.csse-scee.ca/CJE/Articles/Articles.htm.