23 SES 02 A, Politics and Policy Making in Education (Part 2)
Paper Session continued from 23 SES 01 A, to be continued in 23 SES 03 A
Policies are purposeful statements which specify principles and actions targeting to reach desired goals or to deal with a problem or a need, policies bring about change and possibilities of change both through production and enactment stages (Heimans, 2011). They shape micro-levels of society by setting parameters of thoughts and actions which are conceivable and enacted upon. For this reason, the language of policies is not value-free or neutral and policy texts often represent ideological tenets explicitly (Hernandez, 2013). Ideological tennets of policies which influence the ways people perceive the world are embedded in the language of the policy texts (Bacchi, 2000). Discursive framing of policy texts affect how policies shape perceptions of reality and reveals the forces shaping the texts (Monkmann and Hoffman, 2013, Doherty, 2007). As education policy making process is under the influence of a complex system of different interest groups, formal institutions and organizations, educational policy analysis necessitates exploring the relationship between policy texts and their historical, political, social and cultural context (Marginson, 1993; Thomas, 2004).
Education is seen as a major area for the reproduction of social relations, including representation and identity formation, but also for possibilities of change (Blommaert & Bulcaen, 2000). In Turkish context, education has been used as a tool to construct a gender identity through discourses in textbooks and policy documents controlled by the government. There has been an emphasis on women’s education in order to create a new generation of women with conservative Islamist values and morality (Arat, 2010). Educational policies and policy discourses promotes orthodox understanding of women’s status which limits women’s choices and engagement in the public world and makes women disadvantaged in terms of their access to resources, economic opportunities and participation in democratic process (Annin, 2009; Arat, 2010).
The purpose of this study is to examine the discursive structure of educational policies of Ministry of National Education on gender equality in the last decade in Turkey. The following questions guided the data collection and data analysis.
- What type of gender discourses frames education policies in Turkish context?
- How gender identity is reflected in educational policies in Turkey in the last decade?
The present analysis aims to examine the policy texts as discursive practices that create, shape and produce truths and its relationship to social context in order to reveal the discursive juncture where gender inequalities are created through ambiguities and contradictions within and across policy and discourse (Allan, 2008). The study utilized Critical Discourse Analysis in order to investigate the ways discursive framing of policies shape gender identity (Allan, Iverson and Ropers-Huilman, 2010).
Promoting gender equality is a core activity for the European Union (EU). Equality between women and men is a fundamental EU value, an EU objective and a driver for economic and social growth. (European Commission, 2015). As a candidate country, Turkey initiated and completed several EU supported projects to increase the enrollment rate of girls in schools and to create gender sensitive school environment. Despite these practices the recent educational policies that were initiated by the government gave rise to some contradictory results such as keeping girls out of school through providing them distance education opportunity after 4 years of elementary education. The gender identity emphasized in policy texts and female representation in policy document are important as gender roles and roots of gendered practices in the society are reproduced through policy discourses. An investigation of how policy texts creates a certain gender identity and ideologies embedded in these documents might addresses this prominent issue in a critical way.
References Annin, C. (2009). From messages to voices: Understanding girls’ educational experiences in selected communities in the Akuapim South District, Ghana. (Unpublished PhD Thesis). Ohio University, Ohio. Allan, E. J. (2008).Policy Discourses, Gender, and Education: Constructing Women's Status. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Allan, E. J., Van Deventer Iverson, S., & Ropers-Huilman, R. (2010). Reconstructing policy in higher education: Feminist poststructural perspectives. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Arat, Y. (2010). Religion, Politics and Gender Equality in Turkey: implications of a democratic paradox? Third World Quarterly, 31: 6, 86-884 Aydagül, B. (2013). Turkey: Translating new policy paradigms to results. In Y. Wang (Eds.) Education Policy Reform Trends in G20 Members (pp. 207-227). New York, Springer Bacchi, C. (2000). Policy as Discourse: what does it mean? where does it get us? Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 21(1): 45-57 Blommaert, J., & Bulcaen, C. (2000). Critical discourse analysis. Annual Review of Anthropology, 29,447-466. Doherty, R. (2007). Critically Framing Education Policy: Foucault, Discourse and Governmentality. In M. A. Peters & T. Besley (Eds.), Why Foucault?: New Directions in Educational Research (pp. 193-204). New York, NY: Peter Lang European Commission (2016). Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/document/files/strategic_engagement_en.pdf on January 16, 2017. Fairclough, N. (1992). Discourse and social change. Cambridge. UK: Polity Press. Marginson, S. (1993). Education and public policy in Australia. Cambridge University Press. Miles, M.B. & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Monkman, K., and L. Hoffman. (2013). Girls' education: The power of policy discourse". Theory and Research in Education 11 (1), 63-84. Heimans S (2011) Education policy, practice, and power. Educational Policy 26, 369–393. Hernandez, S. (2013). Latino educational opportunity in discourse and policy: A critical and policy discourse analysis of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. (Unpublished PhD Thesis). Iowa State University, Iowa. Paltridge, B. (2013). Critical discourse analysis. In Ken Hyland (Eds.), Discourse studies reader: essential excerpts, (pp. 89-109). London: Bloomsbury Wang, Y. (2013). Education policy reform trends in G20 members. Berlin: Springer Heidelberg. Thomas, S. 2004. Reconfiguring the Public Sphere: implications for analyses of educational policy. British Journal of Educational Studies, 52 (3), 228-248. Van Dijk, T. (2008). Critical discourse analysis. In Schiffrin, Tannen and Hamilton (Eds.) The Handbook of Discourse Analysis (pp. 352-371). Oxford: Blackwell.
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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