h3>““Trends” and the formation of the European area of education. The transformation of an analytical tool into a means for manipulating education policy”
Trends as a term is widely used by at least two groups of people. For academics, and certainly for comparativists, trends constitute an abstraction, a mental construct, useful in analyzing and understanding social and educational developments in the world. In this sense trends do not express/ codify certainties; they are rather provisional and contextually dependent. On the other hand, politicians consider trends as a trustworthy mechanism for safe predictions concerning the outcomes of the policy proposals they favour; and hence as an effective means for their legitimation.The article looks into the two different perceptions of trends and suggests that policy takers have purposefully and consistently transformed an ordinary analytical tool into a means for manipulating education policy.