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‘Globalized’ Numbers: From Knowledge Banks to Schools

by Essam A. B. Elkorghli - February 04, 2021

Data produced via International Large-Scale Assessments (ILSA) is often used by influential supranational organizations, often known as “knowledge banks” (e.g., World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, European Union) to indicate which countries are performing well and where achievement gaps exist. Most of the data being produced, if not all, are done through numbers stemming from standardized tests. Using this data for the improvement of teaching, learning, local assessments, and curricula is predicated on the ability of these knowledge banks to convince policymakers and stakeholders of the universality of these numbers. Yet, that very improvement is based on values set forth by the knowledge banks, which tend to be in alignment with their specific goals for education. The underlying issue for policy recommendations based on such ‘globalized’ numbers is that they have a transformative power to influence education systems, which, in turn, results in forms of homogenization of educational content and futures.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: February 04, 2021
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23592, Date Accessed: 9/28/2021 11:00:51 PM

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About the Author
  • Essam Elkorghli
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    E-mail Author
    ESSAM A. B. ELKORGHLI is a doctoral student at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his BA at St. Olaf College in Economics, Norwegian, and Social Studies Education. He obtained his MA at the University of Washington's Department of Scandinavian Studies. He researches the impact of neoliberal globalization on Libya's (and Norway's) education system
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