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Title: Assessment reform in Chile : a contested discursive space
Author: Flórez Petour, María Teresa
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 5571
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Despite some evidence of recognition of more complex approaches, research on assessment reform neglects to address some of the problematic aspects of implementation. Such research may acknowledge discursive dissonance between different actors and the broader interests involved but these are not a central object of study. At the same time, contributions from sociology of education, critical policy scholarship and complexity theory have illuminated some dimensions of assessment reform processes, namely, assessment as a technology of power and as connected to broader ideologies and assessment reform processes as complex, messy, and contradictory in nature. Drawing from these sources, this thesis seeks to answer the following research questions: 1) What are the main systems (with their actors, activities and internal relations) and the main interactions between them involved in assessment reform processes in Chile?; 2) How are discourses on assessment produced, how do they circulate in this system, and how does knowledge on assessment relate to power issues? Given the nature of the problem under scrutiny, critical discourse analysis from a Bakhtinian and Foucauldian perspective is selected as the overarching perspective, with polysystems theory (Even-Zohar, 1990), intertextuality (Fairclough, 2009) and the ideological analysis of discourse (Van Dijk, 1999 and 2008) as the main theoretical tools of analysis. The sources of data are documents as well as interviews with policy authorities and practitioners. The thesis makes a case for situating the study of assessment reforms in the context of three broader dimensions, namely the historical dimension, that incorporates the diachronic dimension of assessment reforms both in the short and the long term; the systemic dimension, related to the processes of production, circulation and consumption of discourses around assessment in a complex web of systems, beliefs, interactions and (power) relationships between their actors, and the ideological dimension. The consideration of this broader framework allows for the inclusion of those aspects that are generally left out of research on assessment reforms, filling a relevant research gap and reconceptualising the field through a more complex approach.
Supervisor: Ozga, Jenny ; Stanley, Gordon ; Gardner, John Sponsor: CONICYT (Becas Chile)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political ideologies ; Ideologies ; History of South America ; Public policy ; Education ; Latin America