SERA Online 2020 speakers: Professor John Benedicto Krejsler

Title of talk/provocation: What Is the European dimension?… and the unacceptable void without it!

Professor John Benedicto Krejsler, The Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, DENMARK


John Benedicto KresjlerJohn Benedicto Krejsler is Professor at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark. His research centers on ‘New conditions for (pre-)school and teacher education – in a transnational perspective’ and brings together three key themes: 1) the transnational turn in  school and education policy; 2) evidence and new conditions for producing ’truths’ about ’what works’; 3) social technologies (e.g. comparative surveys and rankings, appraisal interviews). His research covers: comparative education; transnational and national education policy; professional development; theory development (e.g. post-Foucault, Deleuze and Baudrillard). He is President of the Nordic Educational Research Association and council member of the European Educational Research Association (2009-2018). He was a Visiting Professor at Kristianstad University (Sweden) (2009-2010) and a Visiting Scholar at UCLA (2015-2016).

Recent publications include: (1) Krejsler, J. B. (2020) Imagining school as standards-driven and students as career-ready! A comparative genealogy of US federal and European transnational turns in education policy. In: Guorui Fan & T. S. Popkewitz (eds.), Handbook of Educational Policy Studies: School/ University, Curriculum and Assessment. Vol. 2. Chapter 19 (351-383). Singapore: Springer. OpenAccess:

(2) Krejsler, J.B. (2019). The ’Grand Simulation’ and Dreams of Success by Assessment: Baudrillardian reflections on (trans-)national school policyJournal of Education Policy

Overview of talk/provocation

What would Danish national (or… maybe…  Scottish)  education and educational research look like without the meta-spaces of a Nordic, a UK (maybe a Commonwealth)…. and – more importantly – I would argue, a European dimension?

In my reflections, there would be a lack of critical mass that risked sending national education and educational research into the marginal borderlands of tribal provincialism.

This creates the next reflection: How do you conceptualize and continuously develop the European dimension in ways that are sufficiently sensitive to the local, national and regional constituencies that make it up?…. And how do you ensure that this notion of a European dimension gives direction whilst, simultaneously, being sufficiently malleable to match, engage with and appreciate the richness of other regional, national and local approaches in the global?

Where does this Europe begin and stop? (1) Is it a geographical space? (2) A common experience of collaboration and destruction throughout history? (3) Is there a common sphere of knowledge and values to guide education and educational research?

AND finally, an experiment of thought: How would you imagine or narrate a national context in Europe with the European dimension erased?… and with what consequences for education?

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