31 SES 13 B, Planning and Policies in Education
This study came about as a result of the implementation of what the Scottish Government has itself called an' ambitious goal' (http://www.gov.scot/resource/0039/00393435.pdf:3) - the introduction, at primary school level, of a new and radical language learning policy, entitled 'A 1 + 2 Approach to Modern Languages'. This initiative would mean that Scotland would adopt what the Government refers to as the 'European union' norm of the acquisition of two additional languages in primary school (L2+L3). Seen as a natural consequence of the implementation of the Scottish Government's Curriculum for Excellence, and as a response to cultural and economic imperatives (tourism, international business etc.) regarding language learning and developing opportunities in Europe and beyond, a political decision was made to reshape the scope and delivery of foreign language learning. For some time in Scotland, the introduction of a MFL (Modern Foreign Language) has been a feature of primary education provision. However, this latest policy is an explicit attempt to increase the breadth and depth of language learning at the early stages of formal education, situating itself as it does squarely the Curriculum for Excellence framework, and offering "the opportunity to reflect on the development of Scotland as a diverse, complex, multicultural and multilingual nation."(http://www.gov.scot/resource/0039/00393435.pdf:6)
This policy, first mooted as political aspiration in 2011, has now reached the point of classroom delivery, with primary school teachers expected to embed the introduction of L2 (the first additional language) within stage 1 of the primary school curriculum. A variety of preparative approaches have been enlisted to ready the workforce, and this study will in part examine teacher engagement with one of these - 'FLAME' (Foreign Language as a Medium for Education). FLAME has been provided as an INSET-based training for early phase primary school teachers with widely varying language competence. Its aim is to ensure that teachers have been exposed to the structure, content and teaching methods necessary to implement the initiative.
The wider focus of my study is to explore how this manifesto commitment plays out - the success or otherwise of political will (whim?) transforming into pedagogical practice. Perhaps 'translating' might be a more suitable term than 'transforming', given the choice of educational terrain (language learning), but also the nature of the processes that may be occurring as the process of moving the initiative from the political to the pedagogical domain. In doing so, I will use ideas drawn from the work of Bruno Latour as a philosophical framework within which to explore the tensions and implications of the multiple translations of policy. Latour's work on Actor Network theory will be of particular use here as the researcher attempts to make sense of the complex array of structures and interactions evident. The first objective of the research is to produce some examination of the journey undertaken by an individual piece of policy as it moves from idea to implementation, and how those charged with implementation both 'make sense' of policy and then proceed to 'make it work'. The research has as its second objective the goal of an assessment of the success (or otherwise) of such an initiative, through an interrogation of the changes produced through the various translation stages.
Language Learning in Scotland A 1+2 Approach Scottish Government Languages Working Group Report and Recommendations ISBN: 978-1-78045-826-7 (web only) Published by the Scottish Government, May 2012 Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies. Oxford University Press, 2007 Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Harvard University Press 1993 Kanaki, Argyro. Pupils’ Language Competence in the Primary School: A Literature Review. Scottish Languages Review Issue 29, Spring/Summer 2015, 1-10
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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