Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Educational Philosophy and Theory

For a Special Issue on

Understanding, Engaging and Critiquing Data in Schools

Abstract deadline
31 March 2023

Manuscript deadline
31 October 2023

Cover image - Educational Philosophy and Theory

Special Issue Editor(s)

Associate Professor Ian Hardy, University of Queensland, Australia
[email protected]

Dr Michael Tan, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
[email protected]

Associate Professor Levan Lim, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
[email protected]

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

Understanding, Engaging and Critiquing Data in Schools

This special issue seeks to focus necessary attention upon the multiplicity of ways in which data are construed, engaged, and produced in diverse educational settings. It does so by drawing on a variety of theoretical, philosophical and critical insights and traditions, and from varied national contexts to better understand and appreciate both the possibilities as well as the limitations of what seems to be an endless desire for, but also hesitations about, data, and engagement with data. While data can enable particular ways of ‘seeing’ and thinking, data can also obscure, as when users of data assume that what cannot be spoken about/ measured/ quantified does not exist.

In this special issue, we wish to explore the ways in which datafication - the seemingly endless desire for more and more data about myriad teaching, learning and school management processes - poses challenges, and opportunities, for policymakers and educators to rethink the nature of educational interactions. This leads to what we describe as a data paradox - at the same time educational systems produce so much data, the data produced never seem to be enough; data do not seem to be able to say what needs to be said, and there is constant  sense that by providing the opportunity to collect/generate even more data, we will somehow be able to overcome the shortcomings of the data that do exist.

We propose that the articles that comprise this special issue will be informed by, but not limited to, deliberations on questions of data, datafication and the paradoxical ways in which data are understood. Such questions might include:

  • What are data? For what purposes are data analyses deployed? Who decides which data are of most value, including for enhancing learning in schooling settings? Who is included? Who is excluded?
  • How much is considered ‘enough’ data? What is datafication? How is datafication currently expressed by educators in varied educational settings? What has changed with contemporary methods of datafication, and what opportunities and/or risks does this pose for education, societies, and our collective visions of the future?
  • What do existing practices of datafication reveal about beliefs about the nature of education? What human qualities are valourised/deprecated? What are more, or less, ethical deployments of such acts of datafication? What are the ethical responsibilities that surround our understandings of data more generally?
  • What aspects of educational interactions are silenced/ left profoundly ‘unsayable’ through data forms predominantly in use? What aspects of educational interaction are made to disappear by what practices of datafication? What opportunities are posed by datafication for critical gains in education?

About the Special Issue Editors

Dr Ian Hardy is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Queensland, Australia. Dr Hardy’s research focuses on educational policy and practice. Recent work focuses on the nature and politics of educational data and datafication processes in schooling settings.  He has published extensively in the politics of education in a range of international journals. He is also sub-editor of Journal of Curriculum Studies and Editorial Advisory Board Member of Journal of Education Policy; he has reviewed for over 50 academic journals.

Dr Michael Tan is a Lecturer (Education Research Scientist) with the Policy, Leadership, and Curriculum Academic Group and the Office of Education Research at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. His research has been on the social consequences of a differential distribution of knowledge, and the ways in which educators might affect this process. Michael is an Associate Editor of the journal Learning: Research and Practice, on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, Technology Education, and has recently published a book entitled Makerspaces, Innovation, Science Education: How, why, and what for (Routledge; UK).

Dr Levan Lim is an Associate Professor at the Psychology and Child & Human Development Academic Group (PCHD AG) at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Dr Lim’s research is in the area of Special Needs Education and Inclusion and he is currently an Advisory Committee member of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HMS) at Ngee Ann Polytechnic; an Academic member of the Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Advisory Panel at the MINDS (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore); a core team member of the SEN (Special Educational Needs) Chapter at the Academy of School Teachers; and an editorial board member and reviewer for the International Journal of Inclusive Education.

Submission Instructions

If you are interested in contributing to this Special Issue, please send your abstract as a PDF or Word document to Assoc. Prof. Ian Hardy ([email protected]) and Dr Michael Tan ([email protected]) by 31 March, 2023. Your proposal should be up to 500 words (and should be previously unpublished work). The document should also include:

  • the name and institution of the corresponding author;
  • names and institutions of any other authors;
  • 50-word biographical statement for each author;
  • email address for the corresponding author;
  • draft title for the article; and
  • a draft proposal of up to 500 words.

If proposals are accepted, we will invite authors to submit full-length articles for peer review. Up to eight abstracts will be selected for development into an article for the special issue. Papers should be approximately 6,000 words in length, including references, tables and appendices. Final acceptance of manuscripts will be subject to peer review.


  • Abstract submission (up to 500 words): by 31 March 2023
  • Notification of acceptance: no later than 30 April 2023
  • Submission of full paper for review: by 31 October 2023

If you have any queries regarding this Special Issue, please contact the Special Issue Editors, Assoc. Prof. Ian Hardy ([email protected]) and Dr Michael Tan ([email protected]).

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.