Tore Bernt Sørensen

Tore Bernt Sørensen
Jagiellonian University | UJ · Taube Centre for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Bristol
Researching globalisation and education, OECD and European Union governance, lifelong learning and industrial relations

About

27
Publications
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Citations
Introduction
My current project has the title "The myths and promises of education: The cultural political economy of educationalisation in European Union governance". Based on an extensive set of interviews and documents, the project analyses the variety of ways in which major actors in EU policy-making have advocated lifelong learning and education reform as solution to wider social and economic issues of European societies over recent decades. See also my personal website toresorensen.eu
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
Université Catholique de Louvain - UCLouvain
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2013 - June 2017
University of Bristol
Position
  • PhD (Education)

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on Marion Fourcade’s notion of ordinalization, we develop a conceptual grammar of comparison to explain a shift in the nature and outcomes of the governing capacity of the OECD over time. We argue that comparison as a mode of governance has been bound into the DNA of the OECD as a lever for advancing political liberalism since the inception...
Article
Full-text available
The article provides an explanatory critique of the engagement of Education International in the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), a programme coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Drawing on research interviews, I adopt the framework advocated by Isabela and Norman Fairclough for analysing pol...
Research
Full-text available
Final report from the project "Social dialogue and industrial relations in education: the challenges of multi-level governance and of privatisation in Europe". The project (2020-2021) was funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and it was coordinated by European Trade Union Committee for E...
Article
Based on a scoping review of anglophone, peer-reviewed studies published in the period 1990–2018, we analyze and discuss the research literature on teachers, teaching, and globalization. Distinguishing between three categories of globalization theories, centered on (i) culture, (ii) political economy, and (iii) flows and systems, we trace the uses...
Chapter
Full-text available
The first decades of the 21st century have witnessed unprecedented global political cooperation directed toward school teachers and the importance of quality education. This chapter discusses the current developments in the global educational policy field with a particular focus on teacher policy and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and D...
Article
Full-text available
Corona and distance learning have boosted technology and shadow education worldwide. The EU is incapable of intervening and encourages private influence without regard to long-term consequences. This is the English language manuscript for the article "Wie stopt macht van de markt?" published in the Dutch education magazine Didactief, 51(9), pp. 15...
Article
POST-PRINT (FINAL ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT) AVAILABLE ON PERSONAL WEBSITE www.toresorensen.eu This article introduces the Special Issue ‘Re-reading the OECD and education: the emergence of a global governing complex’. Its distinctive contribution is related to its dual epistemological aims: to explore how different conceptual lenses and methodological...
Article
Full-text available
Este artigo examina o papel fundamental da Organização para a Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Econômico (OCDE) em coordenar as ações do problema da "qualidade dos professores" para a competitividade global, e o trabalho político em curso exercido pela OCDE e instituições aliadas na promoção da marca Professor de Qualidade™, por meio de uma pesquisa co...
Article
This chapter addresses the politics of the reframing of how teachers are governed globally and the implications of the reconfiguring of power. The Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development (OECD) has developed and implemented a Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) and it focuses on teachers' work and school leadership and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The guiding question for the panel include three key phrases: "personalizing learning", "future of public education", and "global culture of competitive comparison". My entry point is the latter notion of competitive comparison which I would argue captures the nature of contemporary education governance in many respects. Subsequently, I seek to bri...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this special issue, “Global Perspectives on High-Stakes Teacher Accountability Policies”, is to provide insights into a diverse set of policies focusing on teachers’ accountability, including the underpinning ideas and cultural and socio-economic contexts of these policies, as well as their effects on teachers’ work, the teaching profess...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents and engages with Basil Bernstein’s rich conceptual grammar in order to generate a sociological account of the outcomes for teachers’ work, identity and social class, of strategic shifts in governance to the global scale. Our aim is to develop a two-way conversation between Bernstein’s conceptual grammar and how best to theorise...
Research
Full-text available
Commissioned Discussion Paper for Education International, the global federation of teacher unions. Published July 3, 2017. The objective of this Discussion Paper is to spark reflection and discussion among EI member affiliates by problematising school vouchers as a viable policy instrument. In doing this, the entry point for the Paper is that the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The objective of this paper is to provide an explanatory critique of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, and the European Commission with regard to their policy recommendations concerning teacher appraisal and feedback. The paper combines the distinctive research agendas of historical institutionalism a...
Thesis
Full-text available
The first decades of the 21 st century have witnessed unprecedented political interest globally directed towards school teachers and their importance for quality education. Adopting a critical realist approach, the thesis provides a causal account of the mechanisms, contextual conditions and outcomes of the OECD programme Teaching and Learning Inte...
Chapter
The first decades of the 21st century have witnessed unprecedented global political cooperation directed toward school teachers and the importance of quality education. This chapter discusses the current developments in the global educational policy field with a particular focus on teacher policy and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and D...
Research
Full-text available
This piece includes some reflections on the politics of international large-scale assessment programmes in a global context, based on my impressions from a NORRAG roundtable on 23 June 2016, "Learning From Learning Assessments: The Politics and Policies of Attaining Quality Education". The roundtable was a NORRAG joint event with the Center for Uni...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper compares how international comparative data are used for domestic reform of initial teacher education in England and Finland. The two political entities both took part in the 2013 round of the OECD programme Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). The survey included a focus on initial teacher education. The paper analyses th...
Research
Full-text available
This paper examines the pivotal role of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) in orchestrating the framing of the problem of ‘teacher quality’ for global competitiveness, and the ongoing political work of the OECD and allied institutions in promoting this brand of Quality Teacher™ through its Teaching and Learning Inter...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The new education development goal will include a target for teachers and a target for the learning environment. Suggested indicators for the teacher target are measures of input, typically the number and proportion of trained teachers. Quantitative input or outcomes indicators account for education quality at the level of individual learners and h...
Article
Full-text available
This paper sets out to reclaim rights-based thinking on for the current proposals for the education Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The proposed indicators are intended to contribute to a broad and bold agenda for education quality compatible with the targets set out in two proposals for a post-2015 education goals – the Muscat Agreement (Globa...
Chapter
Full-text available
Since the mid-2000s, the concept of citizenship has become prominent in Danish education policy. The main argument of this chapter is that citizenship education in Danish compulsory education policy is employed as an additional tool for the cultural assimilation of ethnic minority pupils into the mainstream ‘Danish’ culture. The argument is based o...
Book
Full-text available
The aim of the study is to explore how the market form in compulsory education in the two multicultural societies of England and Denmark take cognisance of ethnic minority pupils. To pursue this aim, the study discusses the ideas underpinning the regulation of the curriculum and access to schools in English and Danish compulsory education during th...
Article
Full-text available
The article presents selected findings from in‐depth case studies of two non‐formal learning activities organized by the Danish Folk High Schools and Day High Schools, respectively. The purpose of the empirical study was to investigate how longstanding, non‐formal, adult education institutions have worked to foster the acquisition of civic competen...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
This thesis aims to explain through “contrasting-comparison” the teacher education policymaking processes in the “educative-states” England and France. The analysis tracks changes from 1980s to the current time as teacher education has moved in England from a fractured academia centred system to a mosaic school-led system, and in France from a highly segmented form of initial teacher education provision with limited university involvement, towards increasing harmonization and structured university involvement in all facets of teacher education through a comprehensive neo-institutionalist conceptual framework. The four main foci of the thesis are the characteristics of the institutionalized environments and organizational fields of the two cases, the increase in claims to possess “evidence of what works” by actors in (teacher) education, the socio-historical roots of the two cases current systems of teacher education and discursive practices (rationalisations), and how we can characterise change in their policy trajectories. Major change has happened in the teacher education fields in both cases, as the structures of provision has been altered, however, old tensions centred on the role of research versus the role of the practical remain central in both cases. The result of these cases‘ contrasting trajectories, and the subsequent different compositions of their organizational fields, is a much higher degree of academia based teacher educator access to influencing teacher education policymaking in France than in England. However, at present, in both cases, the central state is the dominant actor in teacher education, and all other actors must relate to it and its structuring coercive force. This, I argue, is in England rooted in a gradual imposition of the politico-administrative field and institutionalized environment of the state on the teacher education field and environment in England due to cognitive blueprints centred on accountability through standards and measurement in (teacher) education that began in structural terms in 1984, and in discursive form in the 1960s. The main theoretical insights granted by analysing these changes in England are that the transformative power of overlapping fields rest in the imposition of new norms, coercive tools, and cognitive-blueprints that may occur from one field to the other and the osmosis of ideas and ideations as the joining of fields bring different institutionalized environments into direct contact with each other. In France, the central characteristics of teacher education policymaking are the strong normative position of the state granted through path dependence from the values of the French revolution, the rationalised myth of state meritocracy and Jacobinism, and a close integration of state and education since the 19th century. A central theoretical insight here is how long-held beliefs can ossify and become structuring myths that are taken for granted by all major actors, rendering an environment static in its scope of possible ideations. The core of the general thesis is that the configurations of organizational fields and institutionalized environments structure policymaking, while understanding how requires the analysis of six aspects of these fields and environments at multiple levels. Meanwhile, it is argued that a change in policy and policymaking, as observed here, is neither better nor worse than what came before, only different. Hence, change in policy cannot be conceptually related to a fixed linear trajectory, because it does not go from one place to another. Instead change is an altering of a state of being without an end-state as any ultimate destination
Project
The teaching profession is central to a number of major issues concerning the possible futures of educational systems. The functioning of the profession suffers from low attractiveness, fragmentation, and teacher shortages. This project constitutes the first systematic comparative research in Europe aimed at understanding the role of the institutional dimensions affecting teachers’ careers and the teaching profession as a whole. It has four objectives: [1] to explain the nature of teacher policy over the last thirty years in different educational systems (Belgium, France and England); [2] to understand the changing status of the teaching profession and its impact on the diversification of the teaching workforce; [3] to analyse the processes by which teachers are allocated into increasingly diverse working and professional conditions; and [4] to model and predict teacher attrition and migration within a common but differentiated multilevel framework. This project also aims to deepen the theoretical knowledge about labour markets for teachers and to contribute to the reconceptualization of the nature of institutional change affecting educational systems in a society characterized by the progressive decline of nation states, increased interdependence between societal fields and the fragmentation of individual life spheres.
Archived project
UNIKE is a four-year collaborative research project investigating the dynamic relationships between universities and knowledge economies in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific Rim. The project is funded by the European Commission and the actual research is conducted by 12 doctoral fellows and three post-doctoral fellows at six different universities: Aarhus University, ENS Lyon, Ljubljana University, Roehampton University, the University of Bristol, and Porto University. UNIKE is an EU-funded project under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.