Educationpolicy and social, cultural and
religious diversity: what role for schools?
In the past forty years, there has been a distinct evolution in the role of school
education as defined in general policy documents and in the general curriculum guidelines issued in the Republic of Ireland. These changes have already
been charted in a number of articles, in turn discussed and completed notably
by Denis O’Sullivan in his 2005 book on the ‘cultural reconstruction’ of Irish
educationpolicies since the 1950s.1 Between the 1960s and the 1990s, the
Inside the English education lab shows how critical qualitative methodologies work to illuminate and interrogate the everyday life of England’s privatised educational landscape. England has garnered a global reputation as a key proponent of education policy reforms defined by high-stakes accountability, claims of greater school autonomy and a centralised governance structure. Qualitative and ethnographic methods with their focus on practices unfolding over time and across particular situated spaces considers academisation in ways that depart from benchmarks and Ofsted ratings. The collection counters academisation’s contradictory assertion that quantitative data is the singular measure of value. The book makes a pivotal contribution to gauging some of the social and cultural effects of academisation through its reflexive focus on the practical ambiguities and incongruities that result as policy translates into practice. It explores how academisation (re)positions policies and publics through new modes of governance, it examines strategies employed by students and teachers in situ, and interrogates how institutions are being produced through space, discourse and practice. This is the first book to bring together innovative new qualitative research on academies and free schools by early career academics. The research traverses numerous geographical and social contexts within England. It provides a valuable viewpoint that reaches beyond policy claims and rhetoric by focusing on the everyday and often ambiguous practices operating within England’s rapidly academising education system.
Dominant visions have tended towards imagining Europe as an object - an entity of one sort or another. This book explores the different spaces of Europe/European Union (EU). The first part of the book presents research critically examining actor practices within familiar spaces of action - the European Parliament and the European Commission. It makes the case for the salience of research which distinguishes between spaces of 'frontstage' and 'backstage' politics and shows the interactions between the two. One cannot understand how EU gender mainstreaming policy really works unless one engages with the processes and actors involved. The second part presents research showing how, through their political work, a range of individuals and groups have sought to reconcile Europe with social representations of their industry or their nation to bring about change. It presents a case study of impact assessment of flatfish stocks in the North Sea, and contributes to the cross-fertilisation of Science and Technology Studies with a political sociology of the EU. The book shows how actors are pursuing regional interests, and the work they do in referencing Europe promotes agendas in the 'home' contexts of Scotland and canton Zurich. The final part of the book explores practices of EU government which either have been under-explored hitherto or are newly emerging. These are the knowledge work of a European consultant; measurement work to define and create a European education policy space; collective private action to give social meaning to sustainable Europe.
Separate but equal? Schools and the politics of religion and diversity in the Republic of Ireland focuses on the historical and current place of religion in the Irish education system from the perspective of children’s rights and citizenship. It offers a critical analysis of the political, cultural and social forces that have perpetuated the patronage system, looks at the ways in which the denominational model has been adapted to increased religious and cultural diversity in Irish society and shows that recent changes have failed to address persistent discrimination and the absence of respect for freedom of conscience. It relates current debates on the denominational system and the role of the State in education to Irish political thought and conceptions of national identity in Ireland, showing the ways in which such debates reflect a tension between nationalist-communitarian and republican political outlooks. There have been efforts towards accommodation and against instances of discrimination within the system, but Irish educational structures still privilege communal and private interests and hierarchies over equal rights, either in the name of a de facto ‘majority’ right to religious domination or by virtue of a deeply flawed and limited view of ‘parental choice’.
, the Churches’ rights on ‘their’
schools have also been circumscribed by anti-discrimination legislation that,
for example, allows parents to contest a patron’s refusal to enrol their child
before the Department of Education or the Equality Authority created in the
early 2000s.46 The consequences of these restrictions on church control (and
their limited extent) will be examined in the following chapters.
The 1937 Constitution: Catholic ideology and education
The root of the State’s structural and ideological choices in educationpolicy and
religion can be found in
Making sense of Europe through data and statistics
Measuring Europe: making sense of Europe
through data and statistics
Sotiria Grek and Martin Lawn
This chapter focuses on educationpolicy in Europe and shows its significant,
yet largely disregarded, role in the making of the European Union (EU).
Although education can be seen as a cornerstone for building a common
European identity and collective demos, it has never been an EU ‘competency’.
On the contrary, that Member States should retain formal control over education politics has been a consistent political choice. This historical reality has
education and nationalism that analysed the educationpolicies of
the Scottish National Party (SNP) government in Scotland.1 In this study, we
identified actors’ promotion of a discourse of ‘modernised nationalism’.2 This
referenced key historically embedded assumptions about Scottish society,
while also identifying the discursive use of essential elements of ‘modernised’
nationalism in pursuit of political independence. Education was selected as the
policy field for investigation because it is a space in which national identity may
be promoted or re-imagined (Arnott and
in compulsory education.
In the context of the Spanish decentralized education system, we have
conducted separate policy analyses for the central Government and
the Catalan government. The main data sources for these analyses are
policy documents, interviews with policymakers and a focus group with
non-governmental stakeholders.2 The following indicators were used:
perceived educational challenges, the multicultural focus of educationpolicy, management of linguistic diversity, management of religious
diversity, and organizational and curricular adaptations. Table
tales of mobility become.
The mobility of the exceptional individual does not provide social justice, but
only reshuffles society’s winners and losers into new hierarchies. This book has
shown how the aspirational rhetoric of Dreamfields and English educationpolicy
does not do what it advertises. It overlooks existing structures, while its own structuring effects play into the creation and reification of hierarchies. Rather than liberating students from their positions, Dreamfields’ practices remake and reorder
inequality by positioning white middle-classness as
initiated or promoted by the UN. In this perspective, the Irish case is all the
more interesting as the Irish State, though founded on a republican model, has
also remained influenced by a British neighbour that up to recently privileged
a multicultural vision with a strong communitarian angle in its dealings with
socio-cultural minorities in all areas, including educationpolicy.6 Beyond its
immediate neighbours geographically, Irish society has been at the crossroads
of European and North American influences (themselves mixed), in the field of
intercultural education as