23 SES 10 B, Education as Applied Politics: Critiquing and Inscribing Policy into Practice and Building Alternatives (Part 2)
Symposium: continued from 23 SES 10 B
This paper considers the effect -explicit and implicit - of neo-liberal policy agendas in circumscribing understandings of ‘the educative good’, where systems of educational ‘deliverology’ (Barber et.al., 2010) act to engender a sense of division and isolation making the role of educational leaders at best stressful and at worst untenable (Ball et.al., 2010; Cribb and Ball, 2010; Hammersley-Fletcher, 2013). From a small sample of English educational leaders from schools and higher education, I argue that the English education setting has been undergoing a reconceptualisation that renders political thought, creativity, and a curriculum which lives, a dangerous and indefensible ‘other’ that must be stopped at all costs. Moreover I propose that such an approach results in a paucity of thought that is reductive in nature and anti-inspirational leaving individuals feeling isolated and vulnerable. Further, I assert that severe accountability agendas place educational leaders in an unenviable position whereby they face huge tensions in conceptualising ways of working which attempt to negate risks of compromise to their core educational beliefs whilst at the same time address the needs of their educational masters, particularly where their perspectives of educational practice are tightly bound to professional identity (Cribb, 2009).
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