Events Calendar

Visiting Speaker - Dr. Radhika Gorur, Deakin University

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
John George Althouse Faculty of Education Building (FEB)
Room: 1118

The Baffling Persistence of Poor Policy Ideas: Some Speculative Theories

Why do poor policy ideas persist? Why are they so difficult to dislodge? How is it that, in this day of ‘evidence-based policy’, impact evaluations, and constant measurement, monitoring and accountability, bad policy ideas are being promoted and implemented all over the world? These are urgent and important questions to investigate, because currently billions of dollars are being spent to introduce education reforms around the world that may be doing little to improve education. This could be setting back a whole generation of children and contributing to denying them the right to a quality education – the very right these reforms are trying to protect. Some of the worst policy ideas that are being promoted are those that have sought to increase transparency, accountability, measurement and monitoring. This is ironic, because those promoting these policies have themselves not been transparent or accountable. Provoked by my recent observations in India and Cambodia, in this talk I will offer some initial, speculative theories about why poor policy ideas persist, and why they are so difficult to disassemble.

Radhika Gorur is a Senior Lecturer and DECRA Fellow at Deakin University, Australia, and a Director of the Laboratory for International Assessment Studies. Her research seeks to understand how some policy ideas cohere, stabilise, gain momentum, and make their way in the world. Exploring contemporary practices of quantification and ‘evidence-based policy’ has been central to her research agenda. Using material-semiotic approaches, she has been developing and contributing to the sociology of numbers that makes explicit the instrumental and constitutive work of quantification, calculation and comparison in policy. Based on a series of empirical studies, she has been elaborating how the character of calculability is imposed in specific policy settings and exploring the consequences of such impositions. With a grant from the Australian Research Council, she is currently studying initiatives in assessment and accountability in low-income nations and exploring the possibilities for inclusive, collective and sustainable accountability practices.

Coffee and light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to by March 30, 2018 if you would like to attend.

Recording link:

Jen Heidenheim
Event Type:

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software