New Book: The International Emergence of Educational Sciences in the Post-World War Two Years

The book brings together contributions from curriculum history, cultural studies, visual cultures, and science and technology studies to explore the international mobilizations of the sciences related to education during the post-World War Two years. Crossing the boundaries of education and science studies, it uniquely examines how the desires of science to actualize a better society were converted to the search for remaking social life that paradoxically embodied cultural differences and social divisions.

The book examines how cybernetics and systems theories traveled and were assembled to turn schools into social experiments and laboratories for change. Explored are the new comparative technologies of quantification and the visualization of educational data used in the methods of mass observation. 

In the book, Poised researcher Antti Saari examines the concept of feedback in post-World War Two educational sciences as a diagram – a general blueprint for organizing, speaking of, and observing behavior that can operate in a host of different educational time-spaces.

As a diagram, feedback incorporates teaching machines and programmed instruction as well as discourses on educational reforms. As such, this chapter highlights, first, that a diagram of feedback assumes a haunting presence in observing and speaking about teaching and learning. Second, the diagram both sustains and overcomes ontological distinctions between animals, humans, material objects,
and technology. Third, the diagram operates topologically, i.e. it forms its own distances and
parallels relatively independent of external coordinates to make subjects, objects and spaces that count as ’pupils, classrooms, and an education system.

”The International Emergence of Educational Sciences in the Post-World War Two Years.” is out on October 26th 2020 from Routledge.