Reflecting refraction in higher education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Contemporary nation-state education isincreasingly influenced by various forms of globalisation. As a response to thechallenges this development poses, several fields of research have acknowledgedthat understanding institutional education requires a multi-level approachcapable of bridging the different levels and parties involved. This chapter elaboratesfurther on the concept of refractionby Goodson and Rudd, adopting this multi-level approach in a higher educationcontext. Refraction contributes to the field by emphasising thenon-deterministic and dynamic character of policy implementation. It especiallyemphasises the agency of individual actors at the different levels of policyimplementation, ranging from the supranational level down to the classroom.Nevertheless, one of the challenges with the concept of refraction is that itappears to be context neutral, lacking a clear underlying theory of educationand thus applicable in any other policy and praxis field as well. The chapterthus suggests how the concept of refraction can be further developed bynon-affirmative theory of education (NAT). NAT offers a theoretical frameworkand language specific to the field of education, the object of refraction, as well as the process of refraction, which is oftencarried out through educational activities at different levels.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationStorying the public intellectual: Commentaries on the impact and influence of the work of Ivor Goodson
EditorsPat Sikes, Yvonne Novakovic
ISBN (Electronic)9780429423734
ISBN (Print)9781138389755
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Cite this