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«Policy» valutative e contesti di applicazione. Caratteristiche procedurali

Giovanna Barzanò, Emiliano Grimaldi


Evaluation Policies and Application Contexts. Procedural Features

Educational policies are often considered as texts to be «implemented» through educational practice. This paper shows how educational practices do not derive from a mere linear implementation of policies. Policy-making actually leads to complex assemblages of mediations, involving various actors and resulting in conflict, displacement and contradiction. We thus prefer the term «enactment» rather than «implementation». We focus on two ministry pilot projects concerning school/teacher evaluation launched in 2010-2011: «VSQ» and «Valorizza». Evaluation is a problematic field in the history of Italian education. We briefly examine its developments and then focus on the dynamics emerging from the projects in order to analyse explicit and implicit aspects of their underlying logic. Our tools of analysis are governmentality and Callon’s sociology of translation, which allow us to deconstruct events and displacements, reshaping them in a policy «story-telling». By systematically analysing various media sources, we show how the actions of teachers and unions made them active members of policy implementation, even if ensuing displacements weakened their resistance, making it fruitless. We read the story as yet another missed opportunity. Once again the process does not develop a situated dialogue about more democratic and useful forms of accountability, where real accounts are given about what happens in schools and why. Drawing on the international literature on policy enactment, we believe that policy «story-telling» can be a rigorous as well as creative means to go beyond official representations of educational values and actions, to enhance actors’ awareness and participation.


Accountability; Merit; Policy enactment; Sociology of translation; Teacher; School evaluation; Merito; Sociologia della traslazione; Valutazione della scuola; Valutazione dei docenti

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2012-006-barz

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Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

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