Development as discourse: what relevance to education?

Robinson-Pant, Anna ORCID: (2001) Development as discourse: what relevance to education? Compare, 31 (3). pp. 311-327. ISSN 0305-7925

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Regarding 'development' as a constructed and contested concept can enable us working in international education to re-examine our assumptions and approaches as 'developers'. Given its theoretical origins in post-modern, post-colonial and feminist thought, the concept of development as discourse implies more than simply 'development speak' and can provide a way into analysing relationships around knowledge and power. Stressing that there are many overlapping discourses, rather than just one Development Discourse, I explore in this paper the insights gained, methods used and constraints faced when using this approach during fieldwork in Nepal. Practical situations like literacy classes or meetings, and texts such as funding proposals or students' writing, illustrate how analysis of development discourses can bring out new dimensions relevant to training and planning. Moving from this micro-level to a wider context, I argue that the ideological dimension of educational planning and policy needs to be recognized and analysed through a focus on discourse. Instead of suggesting that a certain policy succeeds or fails in 'technical' terms, policy makers can then begin to ask different questions which acknowledge the political agendas of the various development players and allow for a greater variety of voices to be heard.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Literacy and Development Group
Depositing User: Vishal Gautam
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2001
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 01:51
DOI: 10.1080/03057920120098464

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