23 SES 05 C, Europeanization and Policymaking in Education 2
Educational policy is a complex, dynamic and multi-tiered concept that is formulated in a diverse sociopolitical system. Understanding the context and the dynamics of educational policy making is required to understand the dynamics of any educational system. As Fowler, (2009) puts forward, along with the increasing complexity of the society and both at the national and international level, education policy arena has already been evolving from being predictable to being unpredictable.
Within this complexity, policy actors occupy a significant place in the policy making process due to their strong impact on the design of the policy with their knowledge, values, beliefs, thoughts, perceptions and experience. Fowler (2009) defines policy actors as “those who are actively involved in policy process” and “they make up the ‘dramatis personae’ or cast of characters, who play major and minor roles in the ongoing drama of policy development” (p. 140). Due the extensive numbers of policy actors, different categorizations and classifications have been utilized to provide a framework to look at the policy actors. Basic categorization is based on two main groups named differently by different authors: Governmental and nongovernmental (Anderson, 2006; Fowler, 2009) or institutional and noninstitutional actors (Cahn, 1995; Simon, 2007). Distinction is based on the legitimacy and the definition of policy actors by law and constitution. Governmental/formal policy makers are people who occupy positions in the governmental arena which authoritatively assign priorities and commit resources. These may include elected and appointed officials, legislatures, high-level administrators. Nongovernmental/informal policy actors are from arenas outside the government who have rights to take part in the process and who can exercise influence and press their demands. These people or groups may include interest groups, unions, and other constituency groups (Anderson, 2006; Birkland, 2005; Cahn, 1995; Fowler, 2009; Simon, 2007). Each group of policy actor has varying degrees of impact and influence on the policy formation process.
Furthermore, through the literature review conducted up to the point, it has been observed that there is a wide gap in the area of educational policy studies in Turkey as well EU area. So, this study may be a contribution to the educational policy literature in Turkey providing a critical look at the educational policy formation practices in the country. It will add to the existing body of literature surrounding the politics of school reforms as well as to help refine and advance theory on state education policymaking.
Within this framework, the purpose of this study is to investigate the key actors and their relative influence on the formulation process of educational policies in Turkey through the perceptions of key actors in policy making process and other interest groups in education. Main research question is:
Who were the key actors or decision makers in the development of policy initiative CLT and how did these people or groups influence the policy formulation in Turkey?
Anderson, J. E. (2006). Public policy making (6th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Cahn, M. A. (1995). The players: Institutional and noninstitutional actors in the policy process. In S. Z. Theodoulou, & M. A. Cahn (Eds.), Public policy: Essential readings (pp. 201-211). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Fowler, F. C. (2009). Policy studies for educational leaders: An introduction. Boston: Pearson. Birkland, T. A. (2005). An introduction to policy process: Theories, concepts, and models of public policy making (2nd ed.). New York: M.E. Sharp. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, M. A. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Simon, C. A. (2007). Public policy: Preferences and outcomes. New York: Pearson Longman
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