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Application of Foucaults Apparatus in Education

The apparatus is known as analytic of power having relation with disparate entities.
Foucault uses this term to specify some physical, institutional and administrative procedures and
knowledge construction that increase and keep up the use of control in the social body. It is a
structure of relations that might be built up among the elements of laws, regulatory decisions,
institutions, architectural forms, administrative measures, and philosophical, scientific
statements, moral and philanthropic propositions. This apparatus is specifically the nature of the
relationship that is present between these elements. Between these elements there exists a kind of
interchange of position shifts and changes that changes extensively. The apparatus therefore has
a leading planned function.
Foucault apparatus is sometimes referred as dispositive which is not always the case.
Another way to explain apparatus is that it is a heterogeneous collection of institutions,
regulations, laws, discourses, architectural and philosophical forms. These are generally known
as the elements of the apparatus and relationship among them is generally the apparatus itself.
Foucault's concept of apparatus is parallel to that of infrastructure and assemblage as both consist
of the elements as relational system.
The apparatus is helpful in analysis of relationships between power and knowledge. So in
simpler words, apparatus is the nature of relationship between heterogeneous elements. There
can be shifting of positions and functions between these elements which can vary whether
discursive or non-discursive. This shifting of position or function depends on the purpose and
circumstances and are usually dont remain static. The apparatus has dominancy and is a
strategic function which is majorly involved in historical periods. Two important moments have
been identified by Foucault. 1. "Prevalent influence of a strategic objective. 2. "It is the site of a

double process." Together, these both are regarded as over the determination of the function and
elaboration of strategies.
Functional over-determination is the interactive connection among effects which can be
either intentional/unintentional, positive/negative. Elaboration of strategies is a process where re
utilization of apparatus can result into unexpected effects. To better understand this, an example
can be taken. Imprisonment apparatus which is expected to be a rational and effective method to
deal with crimes, but also had criminal milieu which was somewhat different to illegal actions.
The negative effect resulted through imprisonment was re utilized since 1830 to positive
advantage at both economical and political ends. This was regarded as the strategic completion
of apparatus. There might be similarities between autopoiesis and apparatus if we consider
apparatus as a complex system for the production of unexpected effects.
The teacher education system in New Zealand and their main focus was to learn the
shifting of political/educational administration from provincialism to centralization as well as the
initiation of national regulatory standards. They studied the examination system, training
experiences, certification, licensing and their impact on population using Foucaults concept of
apparatus. According to them, Foucaults concept of apparatus can be utilized in the educational
system of New Zealand and the teacher education system can be considered as disciplinary state
educational apparatus. The main purpose of this was to decrease culturally diverse groups and
increase unity in cultural as well as political systems.