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Analytical Framework for Education Issues

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Analytical Framework for Education Issues

  1. 1. 1 Topic 2: Conceptual foundations of educational issues EPA4192 | February 2009 | Benson Wong 1EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 2 perspectives 1. Policy perspective  How is an issue translated into a set of goals and actions to be articulated, implemented and reviewed by the government , shaping stakeholders 2. Sociological perspective  How is an issue understood, interpreted and reacted personally and collectively in the social system 2EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  2. 2. 2 Policy – definitions  “A proposed course of action of a person, group, or government within a given environment providing obstacles and opportunities which the policy was proposed to utilize and overcome in an effort to reach a goal or realize an objective or a purpose” (Friedrich, 1963)  A relatively stable, purposive course of action, followed by an actor or set of actors in dealing with a problem or matter of concern. This statement focuses on what is actually done instead of what is only proposed or intended, and it differentiates a policy from a decision, which is essentially a specific choice among alternatives” (Anderson, J. 2000) 3EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) Policy – steps 1. Policy demands:  problems, concerns, crises, …… 2. Policy statement  Formal expressions or articulations of public policy 3. Policy output  The action actually taken in pursuance of policy and statements 4. Policy outcome  A policy’s societal consequences (reactions, responses)  Different stakeholders may have different impacts 4EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  3. 3. 3 Policy – politics  Policymaking involves “politics”  Who get how, what and when  Authoritarian allocation of resources  Its features include conflicts, negotiations, bargaining, the exercise of power, threat, and compromise 5EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) Policy – context 1. Political culture  Values, attitudes and perceptions of stakeholders toward the government, leaders, bureaucrats, officers, etc. 2. Socioeconomic conditions. E.g.,  Demographics (gender, age-group patterns, location, ethnicities)  Social classes (grassroots, middle-class, higher class)  Level of literacy  Economic features (Agrarian, business- commercial/financial, mixed, high/info-tech)  Globalization (changes)  post-modernity (no definite patterns) 6EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  4. 4. 4 Stakeholders 1. Official policy-makers  Leaders, bureaucrats 2. Unofficial participants a) Interest/pressure groups b) Political parties c) Research organizations/think-tanks d) Communication/mass media e) Individual citizens (parents, students) f) Entrepreneurs??? 7EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) Policy formulation [1] 1. Problem identification 1. What is a public problem? 2. Why does some condition or matter become a public problem? 3. How does a problem get on a governmental agenda? 4. Why do some problems not achieve agenda status?  How a problem is defined depends on how it is socially constructed  The definition of problems is often a political process 8EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  5. 5. 5 Policy formulation [2] 2. Formulation 1. Who is involved? 2. Who participates in policy formulation? 3. How are alternatives for dealing with a problem developed? 4. Are there biases in formulating policy proposals? 9EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) Policy adoption [1] 1. Adoption 1. How is a policy alternative adopted or enacted? 2. What requirements must be met? 3. Who are the adopters? 4. What is the content of the adopted policy? 10EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  6. 6. 6 Policy adoption [2]  Theories of decision-making 1. The rational-comprehensive theory 1. Compares problems 2. Clarify/rank goals, values and objectives 3. Study options for problem solving 4. Costs and benefits studied 5. Option/impact compared with others 6. Choose option that achieves policy goal 11EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) Policy adoption [3] 2. The incremental theory  Real world: policies change incrementally through comparisons between no change and small change 1. Policy proceeds through small changes 2. Policy as series of decisions 3. Small changes accepted by actors 4. Model flexible 5. Decisions: minor change 12EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  7. 7. 7 Policy adoption [4] 3. Mixed Scanning:  Fundamental decisions  Then incremental decisions 4. Public Choice  Market for votes and for public policies  Basic unit: individual’s self-interest  Politicians need votes  Individuals as self-seeking actors 13EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) Policy adoption [5]  Decision criteria  Values  Political party affiliation  Public opinion  Styles of decision-making  Bargaining  Persuasion  Command (the above 2 is in top-down approach) 14EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  8. 8. 8 Policy implementation [1]  Who is involved?  What is done to enforce or apply a policy?  How does implementation help shape or determine the content of the policy?  Patterns of policy-making  Rule-making (legislation)  Law enforcement  Program operations 15EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) Policy implementation [2]  Techniques of control 1. Inspection 2. Licensing 3. Loan, subsidies, and benefits 4. Contracts 5. General expenditure 6. Taxation …… 16EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  9. 9. 9 Policy evaluation 1. Who is the advantaged and disadvantaged by a policy? 2. What are the consequences of policy evaluation? 3. Are new problems identified? 4. Are there demands for changes or repeal of the policy? 5. Is the policy process restarted because of evaluation? 17EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) Policy analysis [1] 1. Policy as text  Laws, articles, regulations, guidelines 2. Policy as process (cycle)  Agenda-setting  policy formulation  policy implementation  policy evaluation  policy change  policy termination 18EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  10. 10. 10 Policy analysis [2] 3. Policy as discourse  Discourses are about what can be said, and thought, but also about who can speak, when and with what authority  How is it that one particular statement appeared rather than other  The concept of discourse emphasizes the social processes that produce meaning (Ball, 1990) 19EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) Policy analysis [3]  Practice of silencing: Authoritarian voice /version; certain voices are expressed but not heard  What is not said in schools: difficulties, dilemma, pain, desperate  Continuous interpretation and reconstruction (Popkewitz, 1981)  Policy studies, and the analysis associated with them, aim to empower humans to undertake more effective collective action to solve or reduce significant policy problems (Boyd & Plank, 1995) 20EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  11. 11. 11 Sociological perspective  Functions of schooling in a society 1. Functionalism:  positive functions of schooling – benefit the whole society 2. Conflict theory:  negative functions of schooling – benefit only the advantaged (the rich, the privileged, the powerful) so as to maintain inequality  The society (of capitalism) is in conflict: the rich VS the poor; the powerful VS the powerless EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 21 Socialization [1]  A process in which individuals acquire their knowledge, skills, customs, ideas, religion, and morals from their social environment  shape the personalities of individuals  can adjust and become members of society  Socialization goes on throughout one’s life EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 22 Family, Media, Religion SCHOOL (rules, norms, hierarchy) Workplace
  12. 12. 12 Socialization [2]: necessary  For the society  (continuous) reproduction – schooling (in which knowledge and skills are taught) has become very important since the rise of industrial societies  Cultural preservation and development: History  For the individual  In order to be understood (language, social skills)  In order to survive (physical and social)  In order to develop one’s self (talents and experts) EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 23 Schools: Functions  What role does a school play? 1. Functionalism:  Social harmony  To enable the shared culture: value, norms and beliefs and economic activities to be maintained and developed continuously 2. Conflict theory  Social conflicts, inequality  To enable the advantaged people (dominant class) to preserve their advantaged (dominant) status 24EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009)
  13. 13. 13 Functionalism  Who? Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)  Family as the primary socialization  Limit children into a particular culture  Intimate relationship  School as the secondary socialization: enrich social experience  Prepare students to take the role of adults, to lead the adult  Start Instrumental relationship EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 25 Functionalism and schooling [1] Pre-industralized societies Since industrialization • Relatively simple, not so differentiated • Family’s functions: socialization, education, welfare and work, …… • Religion’s functions: culture and politics, …… • society expanded, more complex and differentiated • human relations becoming instrumental • one need to learn how to cooperate with others • social norms (normal relationships) established • “anomie” (which is against some social norms) occurred EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 26
  14. 14. 14 Functionalism and schooling [2]  Family:  Based on feeling  Warm cushion  SCHOOL: GAP between family and workplace  To liberate the family’s dependence  To prevent ‘anomies’  Workplace  Based on mutual benefits  ‘instrumental’ relationship EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 27 Schooling: Secondary socialization  Children begin to learn how to lead a social life  To obey rules and authority, be punctual, respect others, respect authority, be responsible, etc.  To internalize more social values  To teach knowledge and skills to satisfy the economic needs of a society  To enable the students to find a job in the society in the future = to provide the skilled labors in the industrial sector EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 28
  15. 15. 15 2 basic functions of schooling 1. To coordinate human resources  Through selection and grouping (academic recognition), allocating students to different adult (economic, political, social) roles 2. To transfer traditional cultural values  What kind of cultural values?  Chinese culture: conformity, loyalty, obedience, being humble? EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 29 Functionalism: challenges  Conflict and tension among competing groups and classes since industrialization, questioning the functionality of functionalism  force and power direct individual actions /choices/desires  Is the society functional under force and power as well as an unequal society?  Behind functionalism  rationalize inequalities and exploitation? EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 30
  16. 16. 16 Theory of conflicts on schooling  Who? Karl Mark (1818-1883)  Schooling is nothing but an institution that transfers ideologies (socially accepted values and beliefs – some false consciousness) and that enables them to continue  Schooling benefits the ruling, wealthy or advantaged (capitalist) class who dominates the society EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 31 Socialization of schooling: Conflict Theory  To make students acquire (sometimes unconsciously) some beliefs or ideas so that they can accept without questioning those who have advantaged statuses  Accept the inequality between the advantaged and the disadvantaged  To rationalize the inequalities (in wealth, income, power, and status) in the society  These inequalities being structural products necessarily exist in all capitalist states EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 32
  17. 17. 17 What rationalized ideas?  Capitalism is the best economic system  Fair competition (???)  The economic inequalities are all right and inevitable  “Different awards should be given to different academic achievements. Our society values merits very much; all positions should be filled by those (the able people) who fit them”  “Competitions bring about improvements”  The success of the few and the failure of the many are rationalized as individuals’ merits or mistakes, not a fundamental problem of a social institution (i.e., school, family, government) EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 33 Effects of schooling  Ideology transference  Cooperating, and participating in the production and reproduction activities of the capitalist societies  Continuously being exploited and marginalized socially, politically, ethnically, and economically  Continuously maintaining and rationalizing the social inequalities  The disadvantaged are destined, OR  The disadvantaged strive for being the advantaged (through competition) EPA4192-T2 (Feb 2009) 34