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Paradoxes of educational planning

- Planning for a shared vision of the future,


technocratic social engineering or
modern technologies of the self ?

• Three historical paradigms of planning


in the Danish dual system of VET
• Three current paradigms of planning in Further Education
• Is educational planning possible in flexible capitalism?

VET-NET • ECER Conference


10. September 2008 in Göteborg

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Three historical paradigms of educational planning

1. Tradition based planning


The period up till World War II

Background:
• Dual system of VET grew out of medieval guilds
• 1937: A trade committee for each industry was by law given
responsibility for planning and regulation.
Principle of ‘vocational autonomy’ or ‘corporatist self-regulation’

Dominant type of planning:


• The projection of the past into the future
• The gradual adaptation of inherited practices to new conditions
• Planning of VET mainly based on trades and industries

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Three historical paradigms of educational planning

1. Tradition based planning

Weaknesses of tradition based planning:


• Slow reactions on social changes
• Incremental adaptation challenged by radical social changes
• Separate interests of individual trades and industries dominate

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Three historical paradigms of educational planning

2. Comprehensive state based planning:


The Fordist period from World War Two up till the 1970ies

Background:
• Integration of large birth cohorts of WW II
• Systems competition & Human Capital theory: education is a key to growth
• Social democrats: Education for social equality and democratisation

PP-I and II Perspective Planning 1970-87


1975 “U-90. Comprehensive planning of education up to 1990‘ies“

Dominant type of planning:


• Far reaching forecasts of labour market skills requirements
• Planning of educations is included in comprehensive social planning
• Technocratic planning: centralised, apolitical and based on experts

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Three historical paradigms of educational planning

2. Comprehensive state based planning

Weaknesses of state based planning:


• ‘Apolitical’ educational planning became highly politicised:
• Critics from left wing:
‘ Planning serves the interests of business’
• Critics from right wing:
'Planning serves the interests of a new meritocracy’
• Economic crisis in 1970ies eroded the faith in state based planning:
• Mismatch on the labour market
• Unemployment among newly educated
• Cuts on state budget withdrew the resources for planning
• Reduced predictability of the economic changes to come
•The national corporatist regimes under attack by globalisation

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Three historical paradigms of educational planning

2. Comprehensive state based planning

Paradoxes of state based planning


• ‘Apolitical’ and technocratic educational planning lost legitimacy
because it was regarded as serving political interests.
• Educational planning that aimed at social equality was discarded
for contributing to the reproduction of social inequalities
• Comprehensive educational planning was replaced by fragmented planning
at a time when policies for ‘knowledge society’ became central

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Three historical paradigms of educational planning

3. Market based planning


The neo-liberalist turn in policy from the start of 1980ies

Cuts and increased efficiency in educational budgets demanded


• More market regulation and privatisation
• Decentralising and deregulation of public education
• New Public Management: Taximeter and output based regulation
• More students for less money

Dominant type of planning:


• Decentralised planning based on users/’customers’ skills requirements
• Instrumental planning focussing on efficiency and productivity
• Shift from supply to demand for education:
choice, flexibility and modularisation

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Shift of centre in educational planning

Level
Actors Goals of planning

Mobility and
International EU OECD
Competitiveness
Employability and social
National Government
cohesion and equality
Industry & Labour market Renewing the educational
Trade organisations programmes
Businesses and vocational
Regional Regional development
colleges in region
Colleges and Businesses´ competitiveness
Institution
businesses and students´ employability
User, consumer, Employability and career,
Individual
employee individual life project

Multilevel planning continues

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Market based planning
1. The instrumental paradigm

Gap-analyses of
Work
skills requirements

Educational & training plans


Education & off- ▼
the-job training
Teaching & training

Learning

Work Employment and application of


new skills in the workplace

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Market based planning
Problems of the instrumental planning paradigm

Gap-analyses of
Requirements of business,
skills requirements
technology and organisation
▼ – not of learners

Educational & training plans


From requirements to plans?

Teaching & training
▼ - And from plans to learning?
Learning

Employment and application


Transfer ofof
skills
new skills in the -workplace
transformation?

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Market based educational planning

Weaknesses of planning based on skills-gap analyses

1. Adaptation: looking for deficits - not resources


2. Technocratic: skills are required by technologies and organisations
– not by learners
3. Based on experts – not learners
3. Hides power relations
5. The Taylorist tradition:
- a fragmented focus on work tasks (not trade/profession)
6. Linear and hierarchical procedure of planning

► Decentralised market planning have many of the same weaknesses


as the centralised technocratic state based planning

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Market based planning

2. The social and political paradigm


- multiple and divergent actors and plans

Educational
Business institution

Plans of businesses Plans, subjects


for education and training and curricula of schools

Plans and motivation of learners


for education & training

Learner

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Market based planning

Competing forms of knowledge


and rationalities

Educational
Business
institution

Useful knowledge Correct knowledge


Logic of production Logic of school learning

Instrumental rationality Substantial rationality

Subjective rationality

Meaningful knowledge
Subjective logic

Learner

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Market based planning

Mediation between divergent plans


- dialogue or dispute?
Strategic and systematic
planning of VET

Plans of businesses Plans of schools

Appraisal interviews Guidance,


and staff development Career coaching

Personal plans

Market based planning as communicative planning?


Mediation through ideal speech situations (Habermas)?

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Market based planning
Mediation as adaptation to the
dominant planning rationality
Dominant discourse of
competitiveness
and employability

Plans of businesses Plans of voc. colleges

Employee development plans Asymmetrical power relations Personal educational plans


as means of shaping the as means of shaping the
‘self-controlled model workers’ adaptable student in VET

Personal plans

Market based planning as technologies of the self?


Subjectification of employees and learners as
flexible and adaptive enterprising selves (Foucault)?

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Market based planning
3. Planning with multiple actors, divergent plans
- and hidden dynamics

Plans of Plans of
businesses vocational colleges
Workplace (sub-) cultures Social & psychological
Struggles for control and status
dynamics - Hidden curriculum

Unconscious motives
and tacit forms of knowledge
Personal plans
for education

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Paradoxes of educational planning
- State based educational planning promised a ‘common will’ to create a
just and rationally controlled development of society
- But was discredited as an expression of technocratic, centralised
control

- State based planning pursued an apolitical and scientifically based of


planning
- But was seen as expression of private interests and illegitimate power

- Market based planning promised the freedom on the market of the


individual user of education,
- But can result in new forms of self-control and domination.

- Market based planning appear as rational acts of autonomous agents,


- But is undermined by power relations, hidden dynamics and unintended
consequences of planning

How is educational planning possible in a field of multiple actors,


power relations, hidden dynamics and unintended consequences?

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark


Proposals for a reflexive concept of educational planning

Technocratic and Reflexive planning


instrumental planning - planning as learning
Universal, formal procedures Situated procedures continuously
laid down in expert systems negotiated in a communicative process
One rationale - one optimal solution Multiple rationales accepted
- one ‘best practice’ - multiple solutions are open

Based on experts and managers Based on multiple interacting agents

Hierarchical governance and control Local participation and control

Directed towards indisputable ends Directed towards negotiated ends

Measurement of effect in relation to Reflection on intended and unintended


given ends consequences and experiences

Employees and learners are objects Employees and learners are subjects of
of planning planning

Christian Helms Jørgensen • Educational Studies • Roskilde University • Denmark