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Education, Data and Futurity: a data-based school in the North East of England

FINN, MATT (2015) Education, Data and Futurity: a data-based school in the North East of England. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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An emerging and now highly significant way by which futures are being imagined and enacted in schools is through the increased production and use of data. This thesis explores the life of data and experiences of data-based living through a deeply-textured account from one school in North-East England. Based on a multi-method qualitative study it seeks, with pupils and teachers in the school, to understand how the proliferation of data is negotiated in detail, in place and in practice. From the school, and with its members, I consider what might constitute an ethic of care in the context of data.

The thesis offers a detailed exploration of the roles that data are playing in the process of education and the production of futures. I draw on and contribute to education studies, the sociology of education, data studies and the geographies of education, childhood, youth and young people, futurity and data. I argue that data work to bundle and bind. Data bundle together different spaces and times as ‘the school’, knowable in the present, comparable with recorded ‘pasts’ and enabling the imagining and realising of futures. This bundling of spaces, times and knowledges – both within and beyond the school – renders them amenable to judgment, decision and intervention. Data also act to bind people and their futures together where pupils and teachers become coresponsible for securing each other’s futures and so also the future of the school and the nation. The ‘pupil multiple’ is produced and pupils’ digital personae circulate with many sources of data assembled, sorted and sifted. However, the relationship between bodies and bytes, and different sources of data, shifts between coherence, divergence and blurring and becomes both a source of conflict and underpins an ‘atmosphere of progress’.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Education; Data; Data-Based; Futurity; Futures; Human Geography; Schools; Schooling; Pupils; Teachers; North-East England
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:30 Nov 2015 11:54

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