Spinning in the NAPLAN ether: 'Postscript on the Control Societies' and the seduction of education in Australia

Thompson, Greg & Cook, Ian (2012) Spinning in the NAPLAN ether: 'Postscript on the Control Societies' and the seduction of education in Australia. Deleuze Studies, 6(4), pp. 564-584.

View at publisher


This paper applies concepts Deleuze developed in his ‘Postscript on the Societies of Control’, especially those relating to modulatory power, dividuation and control, to aspects of Australian schooling to explore how this transition is manifesting itself. Two modulatory machines of assessment, NAPLAN and My Schools, are examined as a means to better understand how the disciplinary institution is changing as a result of modulation. This transition from discipline to modulation is visible in the declining importance of the disciplinary teacher–student relationship as a measure of the success of the educative process. The transition occurs through seduction because that which purports to measure classroom quality is in fact a serpent of modulation that produces simulacra of the disciplinary classroom. The effect is to sever what happens in the disciplinary space from its representations in a luminiferous ether that overlays the classroom.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 86154
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: control society, high-stakes testing, NAPLAN, teaching, Deleuze, modulation
DOI: 10.3366/dls.2012.0083
ISSN: 1750-2241
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Education Assessment and Evaluation (130303)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 04 Aug 2015 03:01
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2015 23:39

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page