What is Educational Policy?
"A bit like an elephant - know it when you see it
but it's hard to describe." (Cunningham, '63).
- a plan of action.
- used by government and political parties to influence.
- dynamic and value-laden.
- a process which a political system handles a public problem.
"Educational policy-making has become highly politicised."
(Olssen et al, 2004).
Why is policy important?
~ critique of education.
~ informed judgements.
~ professional engagement.
- conflict between policy makers and policy implementers.
- interpreted differently through different levels (FILTER).
- policy is complex to put into practice.
- policy itself can be complex to understand what it's saying.
- after filtered down, the outcome of the policy is different from the intentions.
"Policy is both text and action... it is what is enacted and intended."
Models of Policy Making
Top/Down -> made at high level and carried out by schools. No feedback from implementors. Clear and stable objectives. Solid outcomes which are not symbolic. (i.e. see the results).
Bottom/Up -> starts in the classroom and slowly becomes policy. Relies on supportive
management structures to support their staff.
Directed Collegiality/Change Sandwich -> a mix of top/down and bottom/up. Feedback and
discussion at all levels required.
AiFL - ££££'s spent on it but not alot of change.
Good example of top/down and change sandwich
PRE -> no official view. Unofficial view that it was mostly top/down and very little collegiality.
POST -> politics taken a more noticable importance on education. Education policy largely devolved before Devolution (seperate education system).
Implementation of Policy
School - SMT.
School - teachers.
Filtered through the levels. Each level has different interpretations and different values.
IMPLEMENTATION IS NOT EASY DUE TO THIS.
- problem identified.
- policy making process put into gear.
- political process begins.
Different people have different ideas about what society should be like.
2 ideological forces:
"a framework of values, ideas and beliefs about the way society is... how resources should be allocated..."