Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice and the OECD PISA Global Competence Framework

Therese Andrews

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11 Citations (SciVal)


Globalisation has become increasingly important in education, and national systems are no longer defined only by the nation-state. The role of intergovernmental organisations such as the OECD has also become increasingly important, particularly through the development of the PISA tests and the publication of international comparison tables. With a growing recognition of educating for an international and globalised future, the OECD assessed global competence for the first time in 2018, with results released in October 2020. The power that the OECD exerts over its member states, and indeed further, in the field of education through the global competence assessment demonstrates social reproduction. This article examines the OECD’s 2018 Global Competence Framework from a Bourdieusian perspective. An analysis is undertaken of the framework using Bourdieu’s thinking tools of habitus, field and capital, and the mechanisms of pedagogic authority, pedagogic action and pedagogic work, demonstrating an unconsciously agreed power differential between social groups. The OECD, as well as policy-makers at a national level, must consider such implications in anticipating future policy developments in order to enable systemic injustices to be overcome and educational equality to be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-170
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Research in International Education
Issue number2
Early online date27 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • Bourdieu
  • education policy
  • global competence
  • OECD
  • PISA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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