The discursive construction of lower-tracked students: Ideologies of meritocracy and the politics of education

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study considers the discursive construction of a particular type of student in Singapore–the lowest-tracked, Normal Technical (NT), secondary school student. Shaped by meritocratic policies, educational practices, and ideologies common to many late-modern societies, students in the NT track are institutionally and individually constructed through the results of highstakes testing regimes and essentialist views of ability. This article extends an understanding of the NT student as a widely held, deficit construction in Singapore by considering its use as an ideological label in interpersonal and institutional discourse. I consider how school leaders’ and government commentaries about NT students’ abilities, opportunities, and supposed characteristics provide insights about the processes through which students are recruited into institutional categories of deficit and risk–i.e. differentiated instruction, ascribed ability, and these processes’ translation into educational structures and practice in the name of meritocracy. While the illustration of this phenomenon is uniquely Singaporean, implications include concerns about equity, constructions of ability, and ideologies of merit common to late modern society.

    Translated title of the contributionThe discursive construction of lower-tracked students: Ideologies of meritocracy and the politics of education
    Original languageSpanish
    Article number110
    JournalEducation Policy Analysis Archives
    Volume23
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 9 2015

    Fingerprint

    meritocracy
    Ideologies
    politics
    education
    student
    ability
    technical secondary school
    deficit
    educational practice
    Singapore
    equity
    regime
    leader
    instruction
    discourse
    society
    school

    Keywords

    • Discourse
    • Ideology
    • Meritocracy
    • Singapore
    • Tracking

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education

    Cite this

    @article{502a50ae1677459f90153cfd14cd3a30,
    title = "La construcci{\'o}n discursiva de los estudiantes de rendimiento bajo: Ideolog{\'i}as meritocraticas y pol{\'i}ticas de educaci{\'o}n",
    abstract = "This study considers the discursive construction of a particular type of student in Singapore–the lowest-tracked, Normal Technical (NT), secondary school student. Shaped by meritocratic policies, educational practices, and ideologies common to many late-modern societies, students in the NT track are institutionally and individually constructed through the results of highstakes testing regimes and essentialist views of ability. This article extends an understanding of the NT student as a widely held, deficit construction in Singapore by considering its use as an ideological label in interpersonal and institutional discourse. I consider how school leaders’ and government commentaries about NT students’ abilities, opportunities, and supposed characteristics provide insights about the processes through which students are recruited into institutional categories of deficit and risk–i.e. differentiated instruction, ascribed ability, and these processes’ translation into educational structures and practice in the name of meritocracy. While the illustration of this phenomenon is uniquely Singaporean, implications include concerns about equity, constructions of ability, and ideologies of merit common to late modern society.",
    keywords = "Discourse, Ideology, Meritocracy, Singapore, Tracking",
    author = "Katherine Anderson",
    year = "2015",
    month = "11",
    day = "9",
    doi = "10.14507/epaa.v23.2141",
    language = "Spanish",
    volume = "23",
    journal = "Education Policy Analysis Archives",
    issn = "1068-2341",
    publisher = "Arizona State University",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - La construcción discursiva de los estudiantes de rendimiento bajo

    T2 - Ideologías meritocraticas y políticas de educación

    AU - Anderson, Katherine

    PY - 2015/11/9

    Y1 - 2015/11/9

    N2 - This study considers the discursive construction of a particular type of student in Singapore–the lowest-tracked, Normal Technical (NT), secondary school student. Shaped by meritocratic policies, educational practices, and ideologies common to many late-modern societies, students in the NT track are institutionally and individually constructed through the results of highstakes testing regimes and essentialist views of ability. This article extends an understanding of the NT student as a widely held, deficit construction in Singapore by considering its use as an ideological label in interpersonal and institutional discourse. I consider how school leaders’ and government commentaries about NT students’ abilities, opportunities, and supposed characteristics provide insights about the processes through which students are recruited into institutional categories of deficit and risk–i.e. differentiated instruction, ascribed ability, and these processes’ translation into educational structures and practice in the name of meritocracy. While the illustration of this phenomenon is uniquely Singaporean, implications include concerns about equity, constructions of ability, and ideologies of merit common to late modern society.

    AB - This study considers the discursive construction of a particular type of student in Singapore–the lowest-tracked, Normal Technical (NT), secondary school student. Shaped by meritocratic policies, educational practices, and ideologies common to many late-modern societies, students in the NT track are institutionally and individually constructed through the results of highstakes testing regimes and essentialist views of ability. This article extends an understanding of the NT student as a widely held, deficit construction in Singapore by considering its use as an ideological label in interpersonal and institutional discourse. I consider how school leaders’ and government commentaries about NT students’ abilities, opportunities, and supposed characteristics provide insights about the processes through which students are recruited into institutional categories of deficit and risk–i.e. differentiated instruction, ascribed ability, and these processes’ translation into educational structures and practice in the name of meritocracy. While the illustration of this phenomenon is uniquely Singaporean, implications include concerns about equity, constructions of ability, and ideologies of merit common to late modern society.

    KW - Discourse

    KW - Ideology

    KW - Meritocracy

    KW - Singapore

    KW - Tracking

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84947058484&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84947058484&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.14507/epaa.v23.2141

    DO - 10.14507/epaa.v23.2141

    M3 - Article

    VL - 23

    JO - Education Policy Analysis Archives

    JF - Education Policy Analysis Archives

    SN - 1068-2341

    M1 - 110

    ER -