23 SES 02 A, Policy Reforms and Teacher Professionalism (Part 1)
Paper Session to be continued in 23 SES 03 A
In a more global-conscious world, it is often argued that education has a new role to play in advancing Europe’s economic and social priorities (Lawn & Grek, 2012; Galvin, 2009; Bowe, Ball with Gold, 1992). It is also regularly suggested that where this role is concerned a neo-liberal agenda has ‘altered the conditions for knowledge production along with the spaces and sites for claims-making around education’ (Robertson, 2007). Despite Stiglitz’ (2008, 2013) damning observations on the inequalities neo-liberalism produces and its stifling effects on every aspects of social order, a relentless neo-liberal agenda continues to metastasise throughout European education and especially around policy work focused on ‘performativity’ (Ball, 2013; Lawn & Grek, 2012). In this regard, both internationally and locally, the 21st Century teacher education landscape is a troubled space of contestation, flux, and ‘reform’ (Mulgan, 2008; Apple, 2009, inter alia ). Ireland is no exception. Increasingly, educators on the island – both north and south – have been challenged to engage in how we value ourselves as professionals and to consider what we stand to lose by not addressing what has been termed the ‘slouching beast’ of neo-liberalism in an age of austerity & performativity (Ball, 2013). Education and indeed other areas of public policy and public policy-making in Ireland are profoundly impacted by this (cf; Lynch, Grummell & Devine, 2012; Hardiman and Regan, 2013 inter alia.) and the policy prescriptions for progressing are not without controversy (MacCarthaigh, 2013).
The proposed paper has its origins in research currently being conducted at University College Dublin into education policy formation and governance at the European level. It explores the changing nature of public education policy, as shaped and channeled by policy elites and other actors and stakeholders across EU Member State sites. Much of the work draws on an Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) developed out of the constructions of Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith (1998, 2005) and uses concepts of ‘advocacy coalition’ and ‘policy subsystem’ to explore how policy change and learning is pursued in this vein. In particular, the paper is framed about a key aspect of the neo-liberal performativity agenda – how public education policy appears to be persuaded into being within growing moves to ‘harmonize’ practices across European nation-states. Specifically, this paper considers the contested space emerging between these moves at a European level on the one hand, and the particularities of more local teacher education in Irish policy and practice contexts on the other.
Apple, M. (2009). Foreword. In S. Gewirtz, P. Mahony, I Hextall & A Cribb (Eds.) Changing teacher professionalism: International trends, challenges and ways forward (pp. xiv-xx). New York: Routledge. Ball, S.J. (2013). Neo-liberalism – confronting the slouching beast. Lecture: Dublin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nKFLp_uu8k Bowe, R., Ball, S. J., & Gold, A. (1992). Reforming education and changing schools: Case studies in policy sociology. London: Routledge. Dexter, L. A. (2006). Elite and specialized interviewing. Colchester, UK: ECPR Press. Galvin, C. (2009). Public policy making: The emerging policy making modality and its challenge for education policy research in Ireland. In S. Drudy (Ed.), Education in Ireland : challenge and change (pp. 268-282). Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. Grek, S. (2013). Expert moves: international comparative testing and the rise of expertocracy, Journal of Education Policy, 28(5), 695-709 Hardiman & Regan (2013). The politics of austerity in Ireland. Intereconomics, 48 (1), 4-32, In section: Austerity Measures in Crisis Countries – Results and Impact on Midterm Development Lawn, M., & Grek, S. (2012). Europeanizing education: governing a new policy space. Oxford, UK: Symposium. Lynch, K., Grummell, B. & Devine, D. (2012). New managerialism in education: commercialization, carelessness and gender. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. MacCarthaigh, M. (2013). Reform of public policy-making in Ireland. Lecture, QUB, Belfast Mulgan, G. (2008). The Art of Public Strategy: Mobilizing Power and Knowledge for the Common Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press Robertson, S. L. (2007). Remaking the world: Neo-liberalism and the transformation of education and teachers' labour. Retrieved September 25th 2011 from http://www.bris.ac.uk/education/people/academicStaff/edslr/publications/17slr Sabatier, P. and Jenkins-Smith, H (1999). “The Advocacy Coalition Framework: An Assessment.” In Theories of the Policy Process, ed. Paul Sabatier. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 117–68. Simons, H. (2009). Case Study Research in Practice. London: Sage *Note: Full details of the SCALE CCR project can be found here: http://is.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pages/EAP/SCALECCR.html
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