Postgraduate Course: Education Policy (PGSP11350)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Home subject area||Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)
||Other subject area||None
||Taught in Gaelic?||No
|Course description||Education ┐ in common with public services more generally ┐ has gone through several enormous transformations in the last half century. The course aims to provide an understanding of these changes in the context of perennial concerns about the relationship between pedagogical and political authority, the role of the state and of civil society in underpinning free enquiry and debate, the problematic questions of accountability and professional autonomy, and the implications of social diversity and social inequality for education┐s role in enabling a common citizenship.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
||Learn enabled: Yes
|Course Start Date
|Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 3,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info)
|No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
|Students will be assessed on their capacity to
┐ critically evaluate the nature of education as a social institution;
┐ analyse objectively the deeply controversial issues that debate about educational policy provokes;
┐ critically assess the importance of power in the governance of and practice of education;
┐ seek systematically to understand the relationship between education and social diversity;
┐ conceptualise the relationship between education and democracy.
|The structure of assessment is similar to that in other courses in the Master of Public Policy:|
One 2,000-word policy brief, on a topic to be negotiated with the course convener, is to be submitted by the end of the course. It is summatively assessed, and is worth 70% of the total mark for the course. A draft of this is to be presented to the class in the student-led part of an appropriate week of the course, and formative assessment of the draft will be provided by the course teachers. The presentation itself is summatively assessed, and is worth 30% of the mark for the course.
||semester 2. In addition, an event is proposed for week 6 during ┐Innovative Learning Week┐, which will be an open public debate available for anyone to attend.
Academic understanding of the political purposes of education can be grouped into three broad types: (1) education as an agent of liberal citizenship, socialising students into the norms that maintain social order; (2) education as an agent of reform to overcome social inequalities, whether through common or comprehensive educational institutions or through seeking to establish the same common standards for all; and (3) education as an agent of oppression and invidious reproduction. The key organising ideas of the course lie in the debates around these interpretations and their interaction with four purposes of education as expressed over the past century in public debate: meritocracy and individual advancement; promoting national economic effectiveness; cultural reproduction and renovation; and personal and social liberation. The core question for the analysis of education policy is then: how do the explicit purposes of policy makers interact with the constraints of social structure and social institutions?
Feinberg, W. (1998), Common Schools, Uncommon Identities, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Rothblatt, S. (2007), Education┐s Abiding Moral Dilemma: Merit And Worth in the Cross-Atlantic Democracies, 1800-2006, Oxford : Symposium Books.
Ryan, A. (1999), Liberal Anxieties and Liberal Education, London: Profile Books.
Wolf, A. (2002), Does Education Matter? Myths about Education and Economic Growth, London: Penguin.
2. The state, civil society and democracy
The state has become the main provider and source of authority in education since the late-nineteenth century, taking on roles which, in previous centuries, had been assumed by churches, the market and other institutions of civil society. The role of the state acquired its paradigmatic form in the developed world but has since extended globally. Integral to these developments has been the relationship between education and citizenship, whether or not conceived in democratic ways. This session considers the question of citizenship in relation to education in the most general way: how, if at all, does a society of mass participation depend on universal literacy and universal access to the cultural heritage? Session 10 considers the more specific question of whether and how education might prepare people for life as an active citizen.
Fuller, B. and Rubinson, R. (eds) (1992), The Political Construction of Education, New York: Praeger.
Green, A. (1997), Education, Globalisation and the Nation State, London: Macmillan.
Meyer, H-D. and Boyd, W. L. (eds) (2001), Education Between State, Markets and Civil Society, New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Building on session 2, this week explores the current implications of globalisation for education policy and educational governance. On the one hand, the power of the state is being eroded in connection with education as in many other areas of policy. The most notable changes have occurred with respect to higher education. Nevertheless, at the same time, the perceived importance of education for national distinctiveness and cultural autonomy has led to the state┐s continuing to have a strong role in educational policy making. Indeed, if the state has lost authority in education it has been to sub-state institutions, especially to newly powerful levels of regional self-government for which authority over education has become a means to resist the allegedly homogenising effects of globalisation.
Borras, S. and Jacobsson, K. (2004), ┐The open method of co-ordination and new governance patterns in the EU┐, Journal of European Public Policy, 11, 185-208.
Dale, R. (2005), ┐Globalization, knowledge economy and comparative education┐, Comparative Education, 41, 117-49
Grek, S., Lawn, M., Lingard, B., Ozga, J., Rinne, R., Segerholm, C. and Simola, H. (2009), ┐National policy brokering and the construction of the European Education Space in England, Sweden, Finland and Scotland┐, Comparative Education, 45, 5-21.
Ozga J and Lingard B. (2007), ┐Globalisation, education policy and politics┐ in Lingard, B and Ozga J (eds) The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Education Policy and Politics, London, Routledge, 65-82.
4. Professionals and the state
The state has rarely in fact governed education directly, usually depending upon alliances with trusted professionals. That is partly a particular instance of the general role which professionals have had in governing the welfare state, but it also relates to the peculiar character of education as requiring a relationship of authority between the teacher and the pupil, and as requiring educational institutions to have the cultural authority to act as agents of various kinds of cultural transmission. The question of teacher authority is addressed in session 5, and that of cultural transmission in sessions 7, 8 and 9. The present session 4 is mainly then concerned with how the role of professionals might have changed as new styles of governance have come to influence the welfare state in recent decades, notably through the growth of quasi-markets for public services.
Dunleavy, P. and Hood, C. (1994), ┐From old public administration to new public management┐, Public Money and Management, Jul.-Sep., 9-17.
Gorard, S., Taylor, C. and Fitz, J. (2003), Schools, Markets and Choice Policies, London: RoutledgeFarmer.
Le Grand, J. (2003), Motivation, Agency, and Public Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Perkin, H. (1989), The Rise of Professional Society: England Since 1880, London: Routledge.
This session will consider the various forms of authority that may be enacted by teachers in their interactions with pupils, and how these different forms are supported, or not, by recent policy. In order to focus discussions case studies of particular areas of policy (specifically those relating to teacher education and discipline in schools) will be explored. In 1986 Giroux and MacLaren identified a redefinition of teachers┐ work in the US with the teacher becoming a ┐mere technician┐. More recently, in England and Wales secondary teachers have been described as being caught up in the ┐impoverished┐ language of performance management (Nuffield Foundation, 2009). The potential of the alleged ┐de-professionalization┐ of teachers to undermine competent authority will be discussed. Recent (2011) guidance from the Department of Education (DfE) on pupil behaviour aims to ┐unequivocally restore[s] adult authority to the classroom┐. Immediately following this claim is a list of new powers including the ┐legal power to use reasonable force┐ and the right to search without consent. The kind of authority suggested by reference to the use of force (albeit ┐reasonable┐), along with possible alternatives, will be considered.
Beck, J. (2008), ┐Governmental professionalism: re-professionalising or de-professionalising teachers in England?┐, British Journal of Educational Studies 56, 119-143.
Hulme, M. and Menter, I. (2012), ┐South and North ┐ teacher education policy in England and Scotland: a comparative textual analysis┐, Scottish Educational Review, 43, 70-90.
Macleod, G., MacAllister, J. and A. Pirrie (2012, forthcoming), ┐Towards a broader understanding of authority in student-teacher relationships┐, Oxford Review of Education.
Pace, J. L. and Hemmings, A. (2006), ┐Understanding classroom authority as a social construction┐, in Pace, J. L. and Hemmings, A. (Eds) Classroom authority: theory, research, and practice, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1-32.
6. INNOVATIVE LEARNING WEEK event on ┐Educational policy making┐
Convened by Lindsay Paterson
This event is scheduled during Innovative Learning Week as an open session for anyone to attend. The session if therefore optional for MPP students, although they would be strongly encouraged to attend. The event would be structured as a public debate, either focusing particularly on some aspect of policy for higher education, or of some aspect of the policy of Edinburgh University itself. Two or more people involved in educational policy making in Scotland will be invited to attend. These people will vary from year to year, depending on availability, but examples of the kind of person who will be involved are senior staff in Scottish central government and local authorities, members of the Education Committee of the Scottish Parliament, and senior managers in various sectors of education, such as universities, secondary schools and colleges. Each year there would be short presentations from a panel of such policy makers, and then an open dialogue with students.
7. Educational policies and social inequalities
The reduction of social inequalities in educational attainment has been a more or less explicit goal of several policy interventions. However, the empirical evidence in many European countries (with the exception of the Scandinavian countries) and in North America show that educational reforms have contributed little to reducing social inequalities in education and to promoting social mobility. The major contribution of educational reforms has been the ┐massification┐ of the education system: that is opening up access to the higher levels of education to a larger number of people than previously allowed. Similar patterns emerged in Scotland: the comprehensive re-organisation of the school system mostly supported educational expansion and facilitated the upward mobility of the children from less advantaged social classes but it did not lead to an equalisation of social mobility chances.
Breen, R. and Jonsson, J. O. (2005), ┐Inequality of opportunity in comparative perspective: recent research on educational attainment and social mobility┐, Annual Review of Sociology, 31, 223-43.
Gamoran, A. (1996), ┐Curriculum standardization and equality of opportunity in Scottish secondary education: 1984-90┐, Sociology of Education, 69, 1-21.
Iannelli, C. (2011), ┐Educational expansion and social mobility: the Scottish case┐, Social Policy and Society, 10:, 251-64.
8. Widening access and institutional differentiation in higher education
During the last few decades the proportion of people entering higher education (HE) has grown considerably in many countries. A pressing question about the expansion of HE is whether it tends to be inclusive or simply tends to reproduce the existing inequalities present in society. In 1992 the polytechnic colleges in the UK were upgraded to university status, transforming the HE system from a binary (where the main divide was between universities and colleges) to a diversified system (characterised by a wide array of stratified categories of higher education institutions). The present diversified system may seem undifferentiated administratively but sociologically it is not, since the increasing numbers of people from lower social classes who enter HE tend to be concentrated in less prestigious institutions, to study in sub-degree level programmes and to choose more vocational subjects.
Arum, R., Gamoran, A. and Shavit, Y. (2007), ┐More inclusion than diversion: expansion, differentiation, and market structure in higher education┐, in Shavit, Y., Arum, R. and Gamoran, A. (eds) Stratification in Higher Education: A Comparative Study, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1-35.
Iannelli, C., Gamoran, A. and Paterson, L. (2011), ┐Scottish higher education, 1987-2001: expansion through diversion┐, Oxford Review of Education, 37, 717-41.
Lucas, S. R. (2001), ┐Effectively maintained inequality: education transitions, track mobility, and social background effects┐, American Journal of Sociology, 106, 1642-90.
9. Bilingual education
This session will explore the use of state-provided education in the transmission and maintenance of lesser-used languages and cultures, both internationally and in the UK context. Particular regard will be given to Catalan, Basque and M┐ori in the international context and to Scotland and Wales within the UK. In these contexts, education policy and provision are employed for both pedagogical (education for bilingualism) and language-planning (the maintenance and preservation of language and culture) goals. By means of policy case studies of the Scottish and Welsh contexts, questions of the rationale and of the effectiveness of educational policy and provision in the linguistic and cultural transmission and maintenance of lesser-used languages are explored.
Baker, C. (2000), ┐Three perspectives on bilingual education policy in Wales: bilingual education as language planning, as pedagogy and as politics┐, in Daugherty, R., Phillips, R. and Rees, G. (eds), Education Policy Making in Wales: Explorations in Devolved Governance. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Fishman, J. (1991), Reversing Language Shift: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Assistance to Threatened Languages, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Huss, L. Grima, A. C. and King, K. A. (2003), ┐Linguistic revitalization in education: an introduction┐, in Huss, L., Grima, A. C. and King, K. A. (eds), Transcending Monolingualism: Linguistic Revitalization In Education, Lisse: Swets and Zeitlinger, 1-16.
MacLe˛id, D. J. (2007), ┐S¨il air ais┐, ann an NicNeacail, M. and Mac╠omhair, M. (Deasaichean) Foghlam tro Mheadhan na GÓidhlig, D¨n ╚ideann: Dunedin Academic Press. [An English version of this article will be provided on Web CT: MacLeod, D. J. (2007), ┐Looking Back (An Historical Overview)┐, in Nicolson, M. and MacIver, M. (eds), Gaelic Medium Education, 2nd Edition, Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press.]
10. Culture and the curriculum
Cultural capital has frequently been invoked as an explanation of why inequalities of outcome in education are maintained. Attention therefore has also turned to the way in which education selects culture, and whether the particular parts of culture that are chosen to be taught match or do not match the culture of students. On the other hand, a selection of culture also entails understanding tradition and change, and so is never only a matter of conditioning pupils into particular ways of seeing the world: the selection is also about understanding that traditions include what Alasdair MacIntyre (1981, in his book After Virtue, p. 222) called ┐continuities of conflict┐, the potential for fundamentally different interpretations of how education and culture might develop. The session addresses the resulting conflicts of understanding, both culture as social reproduction and culture as an agent of change.
Apple, M. (1993), ┐What postmodernists forget: cultural capital and official knowledge┐, Curriculum Studies, 1, 301-16. Reprinted in Halsey, A.H., Lauder, H., Brown, P. and Wells, A. S. (eds.) (1997), Education: Culture, Economy, Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 595-604.
Carnochan, W. B. (1993), Battleground of the Curriculum: Liberal Education and the American Experience, Stanford University Press.
Oakeshott, M. (1989), The Voice of Liberal Learning: Michael Oakeshott on Education, Fuller, T. (ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press.
||Halsey, A. H., Lauder, H., Brown, P. and Wells, A. S. (eds.) (1997), Education: Culture, Economy, Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lingard, B and Ozga J (eds) (2007), The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Education Policy and Politics, London: Routledge.
|Course organiser||Prof Lindsay Paterson
Tel: (0131 6)51 6380
|Course secretary||Mrs Lindsay Adams
Tel: (0131 6)50 3315
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 10 October 2013 5:09 am