PISA: Numbers, Standardizing Conduct, and the Alchemy of School Subjects


  • Thomas S. Popkewitz Universidad de Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

Palabras clave:

PISA, practical knowledge, historical studies, curriculum, alchemy, abjection, educational reforms, agency


This article examines the grid of practices that give intelligibility to PISA’s organizing the
knowledge of school subjects. PISA is treated as an historical event. Its study is to make visible the
principles that order and classify the objects “seen” and acted on the “practical knowledge” of
school subjects. The politics of PISA, I argue, are in the principles that order what children should
know, how that knowing is made possible, and issues of inclusion and exclusion embodied in these
practices. The first section historically traces the making of numbers as “facts”, a presumption
that makes the comparisons of PISA possible. In the second section, focuses the attention to the
principles of school subjects that order and classify the “facts” of PISA’s measurements