The theoretical framework is inspired by governmentality studies in education. The key concepts are problematization, formatting technologies and dispositif. The paper begins with an empirical study conducted in Denmark of forty-four files from educational psychologists and articles from journals concerning schools and education. The findings of the study conclude that students are problematized and excluded from the mainstream school on the basis of different problematizations of behavior. In the present period these problematizations demand that subjects become social, reflexive, and learning individuals. The “formatting technologies” are: the relationship between student and teacher, work with emotions, an appreciative approach to the student, structure of the class, and the diagnosis as the final technology. Through these problematizations and technologies, the paper argues that an “optimizing” dispositive, as a system of power, leads the problematizations and technologies.
European Education, 2014, Vol 45, Issue 4, p. 7-25