What a way to start a week – Master Class with Mitchell Dean, world renowned academic of Foucault. I had decided not to present a paper at this session – my Imposter Syndrome was flourishing. As it was I almost didn’t take up the opportunity to attend but I’m glad I did. I almost went home half way through the day, but I stayed.
There were some great presentations and I would have been fine presenting today, in a couple more weeks. I would have enjoyed the opportunity but sometimes you have to know when to pull up. Work and life had been going full pelt and I needed to be a little kind to myself.
There were a few ‘aha’ moments from Dean and presenters – Mitchell Dean posed the question in his keynote address – How do we move with Foucault past Foucault?
Advice for someone who wants to use MF? “People can read into Foucault anything they want” Dean
Accounting – naming + counting gives visibility (and thereby making some things invisible). Interesting when considering digital governance as I do. (Digital governance) Numbers have limitations. Numbers are constructed and it is an interesting to look at the space of the construction – this idea needs my further consideration.
I was a little surprised at the chair’s comment regarding our level of understanding of Foucault considering we were at a master class – it certainly didn’t encourage me to say anything, even after Mitchell’s reassuring retort.
“Please don’t feel free to ask some stupid questions’ Chair
“I was happy to start with some stupid answers!” Dean
Diane, a fellow OWL (shall expand in another post), presented and said when referring to Foucault’s concept of power that what she referred to as the Network of power – gets messy, gets ugly lots of things are going on at the same time. ‘Bless Michel We have capillary power’ Dianne spoke of the micro level and the first impact of simple acts of power.
“I’m just filling in a form – no, it is changing you” – can this equate to teachers filling in data to O/S? How does it change the teacher? Is this change visible? What is the impact of the change? What is it giving visibility to? What is the change? “The network of power is assembling us differently”
Many things during the day resonated with my thoughts and study, but I was too tired to really take advantage of this opportunity. I am sure I will look back and sigh at the missed opportunity to have personal feedback from Mitchell Dean! What I would have liked to have shared was –
Disciplining educational policy in an era of digital governance – what is the role of digital policy instruments?
Imagine three intersecting circles. In one sits policy – from text to discourse taking in ‘what is an author’.
In the second, Data – from national, state such as NAPLAN, international PISA, TIMMS, Regional and local attendance, behaviour.
The 3rd circle is relating to the digital, or software. I’m looking at digital sociology as I look at the life of data, not just the effect of data on our lives.
The Rouleaux triangle, the intersecting space created by these three circles is where my research takes place. All of this within a Foucauldian framework of governmentality (the influence of the conduct of our conduct in schools or department of education), discipline (taking in dataveillance) and power (freedom to say no).
But I didn’t, instead I went home, had a wine, dinner, chips and went to sleep.