In pursuit of transformation: a complex responsive processes perspective on the enactment of improvement strategies in the everyday practice of two primary schools in England

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/300703
Title:
In pursuit of transformation: a complex responsive processes perspective on the enactment of improvement strategies in the everyday practice of two primary schools in England
Authors:
Bates, Agnieszka
Abstract:
This thesis examines the enactment of the National Strategies for school improvement in two English primary schools. Within a qualitative case study design, data were collected on the everyday practice of school professionals employing the instruments of 27 semi-structured interviews, on-site observations and documentary data analysis. The data were interpreted within a social constructionist paradigm and a conceptual framework based on complex responsive processes theory in combination with discourse analysis. The political context for this enquiry is the relentless implementation of neoliberal policies in the English education sector and their reinforcement by the now deeply embedded audit regime. According to complex responsive processes theory, centrally designed and controlled strategy ignores the vital influence of human interdependence and the emergent nature of social change. Critically, target-driven reform focuses practitioners’ attention on idealised, ‘abstract’ children at the risk of severing their connection to children as they really are: embodied, emotional, susceptible, vulnerable. Complex responsive processes theory brings into focus the choices we can make, both individually and collectively, therefore illuminating the responsibility each of us holds for the current condition and the future of education. Within the patterns of conversation in the case study schools, practitioners appeared to be conflicted by the imperatives of target-driven agendas and their personal commitment to the child. However, the patterns of conversation also signalled a strong convergence with the dominant discourse of school improvement which defines educational transformation as the delivery of national targets and standards. This thesis contends that the prevalence of government improvement discourse in primary schools may have narrowed the educational experience of children by reducing teaching to a target-driven assessment cycle. It is argued that as a consequence of government strategy enactment in primary schools, children have become reconstructed as instruments for measuring the effectiveness of the system rather than being the recipients of ‘improved education’.
Publisher:
Roehampton University
Issue Date:
2013
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/300703
Type:
Thesis or dissertation
Language:
en
Appears in Collections:
PhD Theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorBates, Agnieszkaen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-09-03T15:34:56Z-
dc.date.available2013-09-03T15:34:56Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10142/300703-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the enactment of the National Strategies for school improvement in two English primary schools. Within a qualitative case study design, data were collected on the everyday practice of school professionals employing the instruments of 27 semi-structured interviews, on-site observations and documentary data analysis. The data were interpreted within a social constructionist paradigm and a conceptual framework based on complex responsive processes theory in combination with discourse analysis. The political context for this enquiry is the relentless implementation of neoliberal policies in the English education sector and their reinforcement by the now deeply embedded audit regime. According to complex responsive processes theory, centrally designed and controlled strategy ignores the vital influence of human interdependence and the emergent nature of social change. Critically, target-driven reform focuses practitioners’ attention on idealised, ‘abstract’ children at the risk of severing their connection to children as they really are: embodied, emotional, susceptible, vulnerable. Complex responsive processes theory brings into focus the choices we can make, both individually and collectively, therefore illuminating the responsibility each of us holds for the current condition and the future of education. Within the patterns of conversation in the case study schools, practitioners appeared to be conflicted by the imperatives of target-driven agendas and their personal commitment to the child. However, the patterns of conversation also signalled a strong convergence with the dominant discourse of school improvement which defines educational transformation as the delivery of national targets and standards. This thesis contends that the prevalence of government improvement discourse in primary schools may have narrowed the educational experience of children by reducing teaching to a target-driven assessment cycle. It is argued that as a consequence of government strategy enactment in primary schools, children have become reconstructed as instruments for measuring the effectiveness of the system rather than being the recipients of ‘improved education’.en_GB
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dc.description.provenanceApproved for entry into archive by Sarah-Louise Hall (sarah-louise.hall@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2013-09-03T15:34:56Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Summary (for copyright).docx: 18246 bytes, checksum: 181ff9c8948ad69a848c90ad0919c77d (MD5)en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2013-09-03T15:34:56Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Summary (for copyright).docx: 18246 bytes, checksum: 181ff9c8948ad69a848c90ad0919c77d (MD5) Previous issue date: 2013en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherRoehampton Universityen
dc.subjectEdD-
dc.titleIn pursuit of transformation: a complex responsive processes perspective on the enactment of improvement strategies in the everyday practice of two primary schools in Englanden_GB
dc.typeThesis or dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationnameEdDen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
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