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  • 1.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Equality and education policy in the European Union: an example from the case of Roma2017In: Policy and inequality in education / [ed] Stephen Parker, Kalervo N. Gulson, Trevor Gale, Singapore: Springer, 2017, p. 111-131Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The European Union represents a transnational level of polity where education policies are constructed in parallel to those of nation states, and where equality is framed both in legal frameworks and in policies around citizenship and inclusion. This chapter focuses attention on the interplay between the legal and the policy landscapes around equality and their relation to education policy, and explores these ideas in relation to the Roma minority, and the efforts of the EU to address their experience of multiple inequalities across the continent. The process of developing an education and social policy, and the refinement of equality and anti-discrimination legislation, contribute to a reframing of equality beyond the borders of national policies, and open up new opportunities for their negotiation. The case of Roma EU policies suggests that a combination of legal and policy processes is necessary to address issues of inequalities in education. But there are political risks with the EU taking over such policy work especially when the equality definitions used are narrow in their remit, and when national governments lack the political will to implement EU policies.

  • 2.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    ?.
    Europeanisation and education policy2005In: World Yearbook of Education 2005: Globalisation and nationalism in education / [ed] D. Coulby, C. Jones, and, E. Zambeta, London: Falmer Routledge , 2005, p. 128-146Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Framing education policies and transitions of Roma students in Europe2019In: Comparative Education, ISSN 0305-0068, E-ISSN 1360-0486, Vol. 55, no 3, p. 422-442Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this article is to identify the contexts and conditions that allow for successful education transitions and opportunities for the Roma minority in Europe. Thus far, transnational and national policies have failed to ensure Roma inclusion and education equality, even though some progress is visible. Using a combination of policy analysis and interviews with NGO and European Union actors, University academics and Roma students, the article examines the key contexts that frame education policies and create the necessary conditions for education transitions. It identifies the problems and challenges within the contemporary EU education policy frameworks and highlights the tensions between political rhetoric and policy commitments that are visible at national, transnational, and local levels. In addition, through a focus on individual student experiences, the article captures the lived reality of Roma students who have managed their education transitions with success.

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  • 4.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Keele University, United Kingdom.
    Management identities in transition: A case study from Further Education2001In: Sociological Review, ISSN 0038-0261, E-ISSN 1467-954X, Vol. 49, no 3, p. 412-435Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the mid-1980s. Further Education has experienced deep transformations as the result of market driven reforms and the emergence of ‘new managerialism’ in the sector. The changes affected its governance, purpose, organisation and culture, and had deep influence on the relations and identities in the workplace. This paper explores the response of managers in selected Colleges of FE in England, and their discursive construction of new work identities. It is argued that in mediating the reforms, managers adopt a range of responses and position themselves differentially to the discourses of ‘managerialism’ and the ‘market’. From enthusiastically adopting entrepreneurial management, to resisting, or quietly re-constructing vocabularies and practices to fit traditional models of professional practice, the managers in this study illustrate the contested nature of implementing reforms in the public sector, and the complex interplay between agency and institutional practice.

  • 5.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Policy learning and europeanisation in education: the governance of a field and the transfer of knowledge2014In: Transnational policy flows in European education: the making and governing of knowledge in the education policy field / [ed] Andreas Nordin & Daniel Sundberg, Oxford: Symposium Books, 2014, p. 123-140Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter reviews the recent education policy initiatives in the EU through two lenses: (1) policy learning through the open-method of coordination, as a set of mechanisms of education governance, and, (2) what these mechanisms mean for the relationships between national and transnational levels of policy making. It is argued that policy learning acts as a particular mode of control of the direction, nature and content of the desired reforms, while at the same time there are appeals to its political neutrality and operational effectiveness. In the process of implementing and monitoring policy learning, national institutions become important sites for the understanding of reforms in practice. Drawing on a critical approach to policy instrumentation and new sociological institutionalism the chapter examines key debates in the literature of Europeanisation and policy learning and how these manifest themselves in the field of education policy.

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  • 6.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Privatising public education across Europe: Shifting boundaries and the politics of (re)claiming schools2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 413-422Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The issue of privatisation is not new. It has been debated since the end of the 1970s following a major financial crisis and the subsequent ‘crisis’ of the public sector. The once celebrated welfare state that has been a core institution in many industrialised European countries has been under various forms of pressure: financial, social, managerial, but also of political legitimacy. Ideologically, the welfare state has been challenged by (neo)liberals who have seen it as not only financially unsustainable, but also antithetical to the goals of economic efficiency and the pursuit of personal liberties. Its operations have also been attacked by political pragmatists who have seen its cumbersome bureaucratic nature as increasingly problematic. The answer for this latter group was not (necessarily) privatisation but the increased diversity of providers (often all state providers) competing for resources in order to increase the state’s responsiveness and effectiveness.

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    Privatization-Education Inquiry
  • 7.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Department of Education, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.
    Researching policy implementation: Interview data analysis in institutional contexts2001In: International Journal of Social Research Methodology, ISSN 1364-5579, E-ISSN 1464-5300, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 51-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper I am concerned with the analysis of semi-structured interview data that emerge from an inquiry rooted in institutional environments. The examples of data used to illustrate the procedures of analysis come from research carried out in Further Education Colleges in England, The focus is on individual actors (managers and teachers), mediating change within organizations. This focus provides scope for the exploration of social manifestations of political action, A number of epistemological questions arise with respect to the data and the nature of knowledge that is accessible through their analysis. The paper is practically oriented in that it presents an example of data analysis as part of researching the implementation of policy at the level of institutions, and the enactment of such a policy by individuals. The consideration of different traditions underpinning research and specific methodological techniques for data analysis has resulted in identification of a set of theoretically informed procedures that provide a framework for de-constructing, interpreting, and synthesizing interview data into accounts of policy implementation in the field. These procedures are presented and exemplified, while the theoretical assumptions underlying them and their implications for further research are discussed.

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    Researching policy implementation
  • 8.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Responding to 'crisis': Education policy research in Europe2016In: Research in education (Manchester), ISSN 0034-5237, E-ISSN 2050-4608, Vol. 96, no 1, p. 23-30Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses the significance of international and transnational developments for education policy research, with a focus on the European Union. The rise of policy projects at the EU level since 2000, has altered the relationships between the state, EU institutions and education policy, in terms of the definition of values, purposes, and mechanisms of education change, in what is often referred to as the europeanisation of education policy and governance. In a time of financial crisis and extensive population migrations to and within the European space, the paper argues for further critical research on the EU institutions and their relationship to national education systems, as well as on the social justice dimensions and implications of considering both national and EU sites of policy for addressing young and vulnerable peoples’ education and social futures.

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  • 9.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Schools for the future Europe: values and change beyond Lisbon2014In: Educational research (Windsor. Print), ISSN 0013-1881, E-ISSN 1469-5847, Vol. 56, no 1, p. 111-113Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, University of Keele, UK.
    Situating further education in a changing public sector1999In: Education as a commodity / [ed] Nafsika Alexiadou, Colin Brock, John Catt Education , 1999, p. 61-77Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Keele University, UK.
    Social exclusion, and educational opportunity: The case of British education policies within a European Union context2005In: Globalisation, Societies and Education, ISSN 1476-7724, E-ISSN 1476-7732, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 101-125Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper first examines the New Labour government's redefinition of equality of opportunity in Britain, mainly with regard to education and the ways in which it mediates ‘opportunity’. In doing so, it also draws on wider social policy issues, such as the use of education policies to combat social exclusion. Second, the paper reviews European Union policies and selected documents that address questions of social inclusion, social cohesion and the role of education in achieving those policy goals. The main argument is that both New Labour policies in Britain and the examined EU documents promote rather minimal understandings of the term ‘equality of opportunity’, while, education, in both cases, is given an enormous burden to carry in balancing increasingly liberalised market‐driven economies, with the requirements of a socially just society.

  • 12.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Social inclusion and leadership in education: An evolution of roles and values in the English education system over the last 60 years2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 581-600Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reviews the changing relationships between education policies and their links to social disadvantage and conceptions of school leadership. The argument is that definitions of leadership evolve as the assumptions underpinning the relationships between society, the economy and education institutions change. The article draws on the case of English education policy developments over the last 60 years, and places debates about school leadership against a set of changing relationships between the state and the institutions of the market. Defining a good school leader very much depends on ideas about the core school functions as well as dominant ideas about how these functions relate the institution of the school to major social and economic structures.

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    Social inclusion and leadership in education
  • 13.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Education Department at Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.
    Social inclusion and social exclusion in England: Tensions in education policy2002In: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 71-86Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social exclusion is a key policy theme for the New Labour government, and has been closely associated with education policy. The emphasis is on the need to combat social exclusion by creating a globally competitive economy through the education system, and through responsible individual attitudes. However, this dominant discourse is interpreted differently at various levels of policy making that provide alternative conceptualizations of the problem, and suggest different roles for education. This paper draws upon a research project that explored the links between education governance and social exclusion, and seeks to illustrate different approaches to social exclusion and education, as these are articulated by politicians and civil servants involved in policy making, or policy implementation in England.

  • 14.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    ?.
    The authority of the customer: Some reflections on relations and identities within Further Education2000In: Education for Social Justice, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 12-18Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Keele University, United Kingdom.
    The Europeanisation of education policy: Researching changing governance and 'new' modes of coordination2007In: Research in Comparative and International Education, ISSN 1745-4999, E-ISSN 1745-4999, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 102-116Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores how the European Union coordinates education policy making through the use of a mode of governance called the open method of coordination (OMC). Part One briefly presents and discusses the mechanisms of the education OMC and its key characteristics. Part Two draws on contemporary theories of Europeanisation and discourse analysis to provide a theoretical and methodological framework for researching the response of member states to this policy coordination. Member states of the European Union are not seen as passive recipients of policies from the European Commission and the Council of the European Union. Rather they engage in a complex process of selective adoption of policy measures that suit particular purposes, formulate various aspects of policy often in tension with other member states, and possibly reject those elements of policy that do not fit national priorities or timelines. Finally, the author briefly exemplifies these issues by operationalising key research questions around the issue of domestic response to the education OMC through a suggested research approach for the exploration of the process of Europeanisation of education policy.

  • 16.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Keele University, United Kingdom.
    United in diversity?: The place of religion in state education in Europe and in Greece2006In: European Educational Research Journal (online), ISSN 1474-9041, E-ISSN 1474-9041, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 71-76Article in journal (Refereed)
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    United in Diversity?
  • 17.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Dovemark, Marianne
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Erixon-Arreman, Inger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Holm, Ann-Sofie
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Lundahl, Lisbeth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Managing inclusion in competitive school systems: The cases of Sweden and England2016In: Research in Comparative and International Education, ISSN 1745-4999, E-ISSN 1745-4999, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 13-33Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The last 40 years have seen great political attention paid to issues of inclusion in education, both from international organisations and also individual nations. This flexible concept has been adopted enthusiastically in education reforms concerned with increased standardisation of teaching and learning, decentralisation of education management, reduced teacher autonomy and marketisation of school systems. This paper draws from a research project that explores inclusion as part of the education transformations in England and Sweden. These two countries have been very different in their state governance and welfare regimes, but have been following similar directions of reform in their education systems. The paper evaluates the changing policy assumptions and values in relation to inclusion in the schooling changes of the last few decades, through an analysis of policy contexts and processes, and a presentation of selected empirical material from research in the two countries. We argue that, despite the similar dominant discourses of competition and marketisation, the two education systems draw on significantly different paradigms of operationalising inclusion, with distinct outcomes regarding equality.

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  • 18.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Erixon Arreman, Inger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Inclusive and Competitive?: Municipalities and Schools in the Intersection between Social Inclusion and Marketisation2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Outline of research questions and theoretical framework

    The Swedish and English school systems have undergone fundamental transformations since the end of the 1980s. In in the early 1990s, Sweden with long tradition of centralistic, egalitarian, universalistic education shifted into the direction of a decentralised, marketised, individualised project, with significant elements of New Public Management ideas (Bunar 2012). Political decisions introducing student choice and favourable conditions for private actors have resulted in a fast expansion of “free schools” and a more market-like situation than in most other countries. Recent studies indicate that such policies contribute to increased segregation between schools and between students (Skolverket 2012; Östh, Andersson and Malmberg 2012), contradicting central intentions of Swedish education. There is still political consensus regarding the Swedish school system’s socially compensatory task and striving for equity and inclusion. Furthermore, the far-going decentralisation of responsibilities to the local level means that the ways that municipalities and schools try to balance the demands of being competitive and socially inclusive may show large variations.  The United Kingdom, and England in particular, followed a similar trajectory of market driven reforms introduced in the late 1980s, combined with sophisticated systems of data management and central control of academic targets (Ball 2008, Jones 2003). ‘Inclusion’ in English schools, has been a long standing agenda since the 1990s, but it is a concept open to interpretation and defined by the marketised context schools operate in, and the high pressures for academic standards.  

    How municipal and school actors in the two countries understand the concepts of inclusion and competition, how they interpret and practice them, is very much shaped by the institutional histories of their municipality/school, but also what the policy context makes possible.

    This presentation draws on a research project, funded by The Swedish Research Council, that focuses on how competition, performance and inclusion demands on upper secondary school are enacted at the local level, that is how these policies are interpreted and translated and what strategies and practices emerge as responses to new/current policy context.  

    The paper aims to explore and understand similarities and differences in the ways Swedish and English municipal and school actors at the local level respond to the simultaneous demands of being competitive and inclusive.

    The concept policy enactment (Ball, Maguire & Braun 2012) is used as a theoretical framework, a concept which emphasises the importance of multi-faceted contexts and that policies are discursive strategies (e.g. the construction of “an upper secondary school for all” and a school quasi-market). Putting policies into actions is a complex process in which various enactors with various interests and power take part. In a decentralised school system - which applies for the two countries-  local actors, including municipalities and schools are responsible for the realization of the national education policy.

    At the same time, how education is actually constructed local levels is sparsely highlighted in the research literature – not least the issue of how inclusion is maintained in a market-oriented context.

     

    Methodology, methods

    A qualitative research approach, relying on extensive data collection is used: (a) interviews in four Swedish municipal settings including politicians, school leaders, head-teachers and study and guidance officers, (b) interviews in two case schools in England: head-teachers and other senior managers of schools, middle managers, teachers, special needs coordinators, teaching assistants, and groups of pupils. Relevant documents have been studied in both countries. The data have been analysed through traditional thematic coding combined with elements of discourse analysis (Silverman 2010).

    We explore our research questions in two different European countries. Our aim is to understand local interpretations of ‘inclusion’ within schools and municipalities in these countries, and within an increasingly marketised and competitive policy and local context.  But, our research design is not at the outset comparative. We aim to understand each case in its own right, but through a common set of research questions we have possibilities for fruitful comparisons in selected areas of the findings.

    Conclusions, expected outcomes and findings

    In Sweden, differing local strategies are related to a variety of factors including political composition of the municipal councils, the size of population, the geographical site of schools including specific “profiling” of schools to attract particular groups of students. The ideological contexts frame, constrain and enable the enactment of inclusion and school choice policies. Further, the recent upper secondary reform constitutes a special challenge regarding the division of students, eligibility to higher education, the handling of dropouts and students who are not eligible for upper secondary school.

    In England, interviews with school actors reveal the pressures of the inspection process and the operation of local markets not only in the way the schools position themselves in this market, but also in the very core activities of designing the curriculum and assessment. Inclusion is a concept that has been accepted by all as part of normal school terminology. But the adjustments that teachers and school managers have to make in pedagogy and school organisation to meet the external pressures, often works against the ideal of inclusion, or leads to a use of a concept of inclusion that is drawing on neo-liberal understandings of minimal entitlement to equal opportunities.

    References

    Ball, S. (2008) The Education Debate: Policy and Politics in the Twenty-First Century, The Policy Press.

    Ball, S. Maguire, M. & Braun, A. (2012). How schools do policy. Policy enactments in secondary schools. London & New York: Routledge

    Bunar, N. (2012) The Free Schools “Riddle”: Between traditional social democratic, neo-liberal and multicultural tenets. Scandinavian  Journal of Educational Research. 52: 4, 423-438

    Jones, K. (2003) Education in Britain, Polity Press.

    Silverman, D. (2010) Doing Qualitative Research, Third Edition, Sage.

    Skolverket (2012). Likvärdig utbildning i svensk grundskola? En kvantitativ analys av likvärdighet över tid. Rapport 374. Stockholm: Fritzes  

    Östh, John, Andersson, Eva and Malmberg, Bo (2012). School Choice and Increasing Performance Difference: A Counterfactual Approach. Urban Studies published online 26 July 2012. http://usj.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/07/26/0042098012452322

  • 19.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Essex, Jane
    School of Education, Brunel University, UK.
    Teacher education for inclusive practice: Responding to policy2016In: European Journal of Teacher Education, ISSN 0261-9768, E-ISSN 1469-5928, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 5-19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article draws on research in one teacher education course in England and examines the ways in which the program prepares student teachers for inclusive practice in science teaching. We frame our analysis by drawing on aspects of institutional mediation of official policy in teacher education, as well as theories around inclusion and critical pedagogy. Using data from official sources, lecture material, and interviews, we argue that in order to achieve real inclusion in teacher education programs we need pedagogies of praxis that move beyond (and sometimes against) the official policy definitions of inclusion, and draw instead on a more critical approach to the formation of future professionals.

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  • 20.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Findlow, Sally
    School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, United Kingdom.
    Developing the educated citizen: changing frameworks for the roles of Universities in Europe and England2014In: Annales, Series Historia et Sociologia, ISSN 1408-5348, Vol. 24, no 3, p. 371-382Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores questions of citizenship and the role of universities in the context of the policy changes in the UK and in Europe over the last two decades. Twenty five years after the political transitions in Eastern Europe, and 70 years since the end of the Second World War, Europe is more united than ever before. New political, social and economic configurations across the continent are bringing expectations and pressures to its citizens and institutions, with universities at the front of many economic and social projects. What do these new conditions mean for citizenship in the context of European universities, and how do member states respond to this changing context? The article will use England as a national case study within the EU to illustrate the tensions between the humanistic visions still carried out by many universities, although interpreted differently across the sector, and the pressures for the creation of the ‘knowledge economy’ that are shared at the national and transnational levels.

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  • 21.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Department of Education, University of Keele, United Kingdom.
    Fink-Hafner, Danica
    Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
    Lange, Bettina
    Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
    Education policy convergence through the Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC): Theoretical reflections and implementation in ‘old’ and ‘new’ national contexts2010In: European Educational Research Journal (online), ISSN 1474-9041, E-ISSN 1474-9041, Vol. 9, no 3, p. 346-359Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article addresses two key questions about the convergence of education policies in the European Union (EU). How does the open method of coordination (OMC), a new governance instrument for the Europeanisation of education policies, change existing national education policy making and how can the OMC and national responses to it be researched? The authors argue that the OMC brings to national policy making a particular set of ideas about education, such as an emphasis on the contribution of education to building competitive economies and a new public management approach. The authors further suggest that the significance of such policy ideas in national education policy making can be best analysed through a combination of sociological institutionalism and discourse analysis. Hence, ‘implementation’ of EU education measures – which have been developed through policy learning – should be understood as a combination of a ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’ policy-making process that links EU and national levels. Finally, the article suggests – on the basis of a preliminary exploration of the implementation of education OMC measures in the United Kingdom and Slovenia – that education OMC policy ideas resonate to varying degrees in ‘old’ and ‘new’ member states.

  • 22.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Helgøy, Ingrid
    NORCE Norwegian Research Centre.
    Homme, Anne
    NORCE Norwegian Research Centre.
    Lost in transition: Policies to reduce early school leaving and encourage further studying in Europe2019In: Comparative Education, ISSN 0305-0068, E-ISSN 1360-0486, Vol. 55, no 3, p. 297-307Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hjelmér, Carina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Pihlaja, Päivi
    Laiho, Anne
    Policy change in ECE in Finland and Sweden2019In: Early years: making it count: abstract book, European Early Childhood Education Research Association , 2019, p. 215-216Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We analyse policy in Finland and Sweden in the post-1970s. Our research questions are: What are the key policies and goals for ECE, and the governance mechanisms in the sector? What are the policy and pedagogical ideas that define policy and change? Finland and Sweden invest substantially on ECE and developed delivery that is regulated by the state (Alila, 2013; Martin-Korpi, 2014). Expansion policies are underpinned by views on children’s' rights, equality and welfare (Vallberg-Roth, 2012). We examine 216 the changing policy ideas and institutional mechanisms for ECE provision and how these are affected by wider policy reforms. We combine two theoretical perspectives: A historical-policy approach on institutional formation (Mahoney & Thelen, 2010); and an examination of the role of ideas in the policy process (Schmidt, 2008). We view policy as dynamic, but also shaped by history, administrative traditions, and policy ideas that can instigate change of policy direction. We employ historical policy analysis. Our methods consist of documentary analysis and compilation of statistics (Alexander, 2000). Ethical consideration is given to a fair and balanced representation of policy documents and literature to avoid bias. Finland and Sweden have followed a similar trajectory of ECE policies, but with: a time-lag in implementation; a distinct approach to quasi-market provision; a different relation towards EU/OECD frameworks. We find that: surface similarities of policy discourses in different countries may hide differences in pedagogical assumptions about practice; and, an understanding of institutional contexts and values is necessary for the successful implementation of ECE reforms.

  • 24.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Jones, Ken
    Goldsmiths University, London.
    Educational policy-making in Europe 1986-2018: towards convergence?2019In: Austerity and the remaking of European education / [ed] Anna Traianou and Ken Jones, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, p. 29-52Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 25.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Lange, Bettina
    Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, UK.
    Deflecting European Union Influence on National Education Policy-Making: The Case of the United Kingdom2013In: Journal of European Integration, ISSN 0703-6337, E-ISSN 1477-2280, Vol. 35, no 1, p. 37-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines how education policies developed in the European Union (EU) through the open method of co-ordination (OMC) are received at the member state level of the United Kingdom (UK). We argue that the UK’s response to the education OMC can be understood mainly in terms of deflecting EU influence on the process and in particular content of national education policy-making. We focus on three manifestations of deflecting EU influence on national education policies. On a level of institutional structures, first, few organizational resources are made available for responding to the education OMC. Second, there is limited communication between domestic policy teams and UK civil servants involved in international work. Third, on a level of discourse UK education policy makers have retained a commitment to the continued sovereignty of the UK over education policy and its role as a potential leader of education policy agendas in the EU. Deflecting the education OMC involves here constructing images of ‘fit’ between UK and EU OMC education policies.

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  • 26.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Lange, Bettina
    Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
    Europeanizing the National Education Space?: adjusting to the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) in the UK2015In: International Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 0190-0692, E-ISSN 1532-4265, Vol. 38, no 3, p. 157-166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines the reception of the education Open Method of Coordination (OMC) in the UK as an aspect of Europeanization of national administrations. It addresses relationships between political and administrative actors in the process of responding to the education OMC. We argue that despite progress with institutionalization of the education OMC at the EU level, there is limited institutionalization of the education OMC at the national level. Against the backdrop of UK skepticism about engaging with the EU integration project, the interesting finding is the administrative strategies employed for deflecting EU influence on the national education space.

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  • 27.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Keele University, United Kingdom.
    Lange, Bettina
    Oxford University.
    The open method of coordination and the governance of education in Europe2010In: Criminology - Searching for Answers: Essays in Honour of Professor Stergios Alexiadis / [ed] A. Pitsela, Thessaloniki, Greece: Sakkoula , 2010, 1, p. 23-48Chapter in book (Other academic)
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    Alexiadou Lange Honorary Volume
  • 28.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Université de Keele, UK.
    Lawn, Martin
    Université de Birmingham, Westhill.
    Le nouveau discours educatif sous l’influence entrepreneurial: Les secteurs public et prive dans les Zones d’Action Educative2000In: Revue française de pédagogie, ISSN 0556-7807, E-ISSN 2105-2913, no 133, p. 25-36Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 29.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Lundahl, Lisbeth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Reforming Swedish education through New Public Management and quasi-markets2016In: New public management and the reform of education: European lessons for policy and practice / [ed] Helen M. Gunter, Emiliano Grimaldi, David Hall and Roberto Serpieri, Abdingon, Oxon: Routledge, 2016, p. 66-80Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 30.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Lundahl, Lisbeth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. University of Turku.
    The boundaries of policy learning and the role of ideas: Sweden, as a reluctant policy learner?2019In: Beyond erziehungswissenschaftlicher Grenzen: Diskurse zu Entgrenzungen der Disziplin / [ed] Ulrike Stadler-Altmann & Barbara Gross, Opladen: Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag GmbH, 2019, p. 63-77Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter aims to bring the study of ideas into the analysis of education policy and governance, and to explore their transfer, dissemination and feedback between the international and national policy making arenas. In a globalised education context, policy ideas about education often reflect changes in the dynamic relations between society and schooling – manifested for example in the pursuit of the knowledge economy as the future paradigm underpinning education reforms. Across Europe and other parts of the world, new policy ideas about education have driven major restructuring projects that dismantled older forms of schooling and welfare provision. Invariably, these have been replaced by new ways of defining education policy problems that draw on the market place as a new social and policy space where knowledge and policy solutions are contextualised and utilised differently to the norms of the past. The shifts in the assumptions about education policy knowledge and policy ideas, raise a number of interesting questions, such as, what produces policy changes in education systems and what is the influence of international actors? And, who are the agents of change in education reforms? Our ambition in this chapter is to connect some of these issues to the restructuring of Swedish education over the last 30 years. Sweden underwent a radical shift in the early 1990s from strong central state governing of education and very few private schools to a highly decentralized system promoting school choice and competition between public as well as private actors. Based on generous vouchers and liberal authorization rules, the private school sector expanded at a high pace, particularly in the 2000s. Allowing profit-making without demands on re-investment in schools, education has increasingly attracted large limited liability companies – something that makes the Swedish case out¬standing in an international comparison (Lundahl et al. 2013; Alexiadou, Lundahl & Rönnberg 2019). In this chapter, we discuss if and to what extent the introduction and continuation of school choice and marketization policies in Sweden were guided by policy learning from external actors, in particular supranational organizations such as the European Union and the OECD.

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  • 31.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Lundahl, Lisbeth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Shifting logics: education and privatisation the Swedish way2019In: Challenges for public education: reconceptualising educational leadership, policy and social justice as resources for hope / [ed] Jane Wilkinson, Richard Niesche and Scott Eacott, Abingdon: Routledge, 2019, p. 116-131Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the last 40 years, many countries have launched radical reforms of their public education systems in a neoliberal direction that emphasises a mixed economy of schooling. The reforms have been accompanied by discourses of ‘a crisis’ of the public sector, and shared broadly similar elements of varying degrees of decentralisation and new public management (NPM), choice, competition and the introduction of private actors and interests in public education. Much social policy and education research on marketisation reforms has focused on Anglo-Saxon countries, where institutional changes towards more choice and competition have led to a similar dismantling of the welfare state. This has included turning citizens (students, parents) into customers, with all the resulting implications for ethnically and socio-economically based differentiation (Cahill & Hall, 2014; Campbell et al., 2009; Clarke et al., 2007; Roda & Stuart Wells, 2013). However, despite the numerous similarities in the direction of education reforms, the existing literature on marketisation does not capture the peculiarities of the Nordic education policy settings, where choice and competition coexist with a strong sense of education as a public good.

  • 32.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Norberg, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Roma, Education, and Higher Education policies: The International Context and the Case of Sweden2015Report (Other academic)
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  • 33.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Norberg, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Sweden’s Double Decade for Roma Inclusion: An Examination of Education Policy in Context2017In: European Education: Issues and Studies, ISSN 1056-4934, E-ISSN 1944-7086, Vol. 49, no 1, p. 36-55Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyzes the Swedish Strategy for Roma Inclusion. Drawing on interviews and documentary materials produced around the Strategy by official sources and Roma organizations, we describe its background, rationale, and evolution, as well as the rifts it has revealed around the issues of minority representation and the framing of inclusion. We describe the Strategy as a framework for education policy, aligned with the European Framework for Roma integration, and discuss it in relation to issues of representation, inclusion, and policy formation. We argue that, at the discursive level, the Strategy has engaged positively with the politics of Roma inclusion and has introduced a number of new issues in the public debate. However, at the same time it has given rise to policy tensions that reflect inadequate representation of and discussions with Roma stakeholders. For policy makers this has presented opportunities to rethink the design of the Strategy and to opt for an open final text that allows for a more versatile and flexible set of policy options to emerge at the local level.

  • 34.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Keele University, England.
    Ozga, Jennifer
    University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
    Modernising education governance in England and Scotland: Devolution and control2002In: European Educational Research Journal (online), ISSN 1474-9041, E-ISSN 1474-9041, Vol. 1, no 4, p. 676-691Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article considers the impact of the neo-liberal agenda for modernising the government of education in two of the United Kingdom's education systems: England and Scotland. The article looks at differences between England and Scotland in the context of devolved education governance and concludes that there are significant and possibly ongoing differences in the 'local' interpretation of New Labour's modernisation project.

  • 35.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Global ideas and their national embeddedness: the case of Swedish education policy2019In: Austerity and the remaking of European education / [ed] Anna Traianou and Ken Jones, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, p. 93-116Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 36.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Stadler Altmann, Ulrike
    Free University of Bolzano, Italy.
    Early childhood education research in Europe: Contexts, policies, and ideas2020In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 89-93Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    From the very north to the south of Europe, the national examples of early childhood education research reported here address remarkably similar issues around the definition of core values in early childhood education, and their impact on pedagogical work in preschools. Policy histories and frameworks matter, since they define the parameters within which these definitions take place and they determine resources given to preschool provision. Our collection demonstrates the significance of ideas and cultural frames as factors that often act independently to develop professional practice in different directions (see also, Löfdahl Hultman & Margrain, 2019; White, 2002). Education policy and policy reforms are formed often without the participation of professional educators, but they are mediated by practitioners who exercise significant discretion in how they implement them in their everyday work. Since education policy reforms are the result of a social negotiation process, the reforms reflect ideal, but also traditional and normative views on ECE. In this respect, the approaches in the European countries presented here do not show great divergence. Where we do observe stronger differences, is in the ideas of educators around professional autonomy, practice, as well as certain social values. We find that, the success or failure of reforms in early childhood education depends on the extent to which the policy process accounts for not just administrative new requirements, but also the features of the institutional contexts of ECE, their historical evolution in different national contexts, and the role of ideas around the goals and purposes of the sector. Second, no new policy can be effectively applied, with positive transformative effects for young children’s lives, without the active participation of preschool educators in the process. As all the cases in this special issue illustrate, education change aimed to achieve any preschool policy goal (new assessment, inclusive classrooms, gender equality, children’s agency) is a social process that requires professional engagement and learning, and in some cases a transformation of the attitudes of the educators themselves.

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  • 37.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Van de Bunt-Kokhuis, Sylvia
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Policy space and the governance of education: transnational influences on institutions and identities in the Netherlands and the UK2013In: Comparative Education, ISSN 0305-0068, E-ISSN 1360-0486, Vol. 49, no 3, p. 344-360Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents a comparative analysis of two country-specific cases. The comparative analysis is situated within the broad domain of the changing knowledge economy landscape for educational policy. The two cases examine the transfer, embedding and enactment of policies during the interactions between supranational, national, institutional and individual levels. Case study one concerns policy transfers and their mediation between the EU and the national levels, drawing from empirical research on the UK. Case study two explores the experience and interpretation of higher education mobility practices from the point of view of individual mobile academics located in, or connected to, the Dutch frameworks of higher education. We employ the concept of space to illuminate the effects on education policy and practice of the changing relationships between the national and inter-, supranational levels of discourse and practice. Our central thesis is that even though EU member states have lost sovereign power over defining education goals and outcomes, hindering dynamics remain. The extent to which policies and discourses from ‘outside’ the national level are integrated and adopted ‘within’ depends on the interaction between education–political discourses with existing institutionalised practices. In the case of the EU education policies we observe a weak form of policy transfer to the national level. In the UK there is a combination of a dense institutional field in education and a Eurosceptic political discourse. In the Dutch case of individual academics, on the other hand, we found a positive discourse around international academic mobility. A moderately adapted set of regulatory frameworks and emerging support structures facilitate to varying degrees the Dutch practice of academic mobility.

  • 38.
    Brock, Colin
    et al.
    Oxford University.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    University of Keele, United Kingdom.
    A critical review of education reforms and policy in the United Kingdom over the last century2007In: Comparative study of education problems and policies in the world: contemporary trends and the role of tradition / [ed] Dimitrios Mattheou, Athens: Centre of Comparative Education , 2007, 1Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 39.
    Brock, Colin
    et al.
    Educational Studies, University of Oxford, UK.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Education Around the World: A Comparative Introduction2013Book (Other academic)
  • 40.
    Brock, Colin
    et al.
    Oxford University.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, University of Keele, UK.
    Großbritanniens nationale und ubnationale Bildungsverwaltung2000In: Zeitgeschichte europäischer Bildung 1970-2000: Bd. 2: Nationale Entwicklungsprofile / [ed] Klaus Schleicher, Peter J. Weber, Münster/ Berlin/ New York: Waxmann , 2000, p. 197-224Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 41.
    Brock, Colin
    et al.
    Oxford University.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    University of Keele, United Kingdom.
    The United Kingdom2007In: The Education Systems of Europe / [ed] Wolfgang Hörner, Hans Döbert, Botho von Kopp and Wolfgang Mitter, Dordrecht: Springer Publishing Company, 2007, p. 826-851Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 42.
    Essex, Jane
    et al.
    School of Education, University of Strathclyde, UK.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Zwozdiak-Myers, Paula
    School of Education, Brunel University London, UK.
    Understanding inclusion in teacher education: A view from student teachers in England2019In: International Journal of Inclusive Education, ISSN 1360-3116, E-ISSN 1464-5173, p. 1-19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Policies on inclusion are being increasingly embedded within education systems and teacher education across the world, with schools and teachers called upon to add ‘inclusion’ to their already large set of skills and tasks. There is, however, no consistent definition of what inclusion means or how it can be best promoted. The purpose of this paper is to explore the dilemmas that student teachers face when they encounter policy requirements to practice inclusion, and how they mediate the tensions. Drawing on two exploratory studies with science student teachers in two Initial Teacher Education programmes in England, we focus on the conceptions of inclusion held by the student teachers and the links between inclusion and teacher education. Our findings suggest that conventional understandings in relation to ability still dominate, with ability-based differentiation viewed as the key teaching strategy to promote inclusion. In addition, student teachers find themselves having to negotiate contradictory and often conflicting approaches to inclusion, diversity, and academic attainment. The discrepancies highlighted by this study have implications for how teacher education courses need to be organised to promote the practice of inclusion.

  • 43.
    Lange, Bettina
    et al.
    Oxford University, UK.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    The School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, University of Keele.
    How to govern for solidarity: an introduction to policy learning in the context of open methods of co-ordinating education policies in the European Union (EU)2010In: Promoting solidarity in the European Union : an emerging constitutional paradigm? / [ed] Malcolm Ross and Yuri Borgmann-Prebil, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 1, p. 235-261Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 44.
    Lange, Bettina
    et al.
    Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom .
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    School of Criminology, Education, Sociology and Social Work, Keele University, Keele, United Kingdom.
    New forms of European Union governance in the education sector?: A preliminary analysis of the Open Method of Coordination2007In: European Educational Research Journal (online), ISSN 1474-9041, E-ISSN 1474-9041, Vol. 6, no 4, p. 321-335Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article critically explores how a new form of European Union (EU) governance - the open method of coordination (OMC) - impinges on education policies. The first part discusses three key characteristics of the OMC, in particular its flexibility, reflexivity and reliance on the techniques of new public management. It also outlines briefly why the OMC is being applied to EU education policy. The second and main part of the article develops a critical analysis of the OMC in education by questioning to what extent it can be considered as a new form of EU governance and with what vision of Social Europe it is associated. Most importantly, the second part argues that there may be significant potential for the politicization of mutual policy learning in the context of OMC education measures.

  • 45.
    Lange, Bettina
    et al.
    Centre for Socio‐Legal Studies, University of Oxford, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ, UK.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Department of Education, School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, University of Keele, Staffordshire, Keele, ST5 5AZ, UK.
    Policy learning and governance of education policy in the EU2010In: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 25, no 4, p. 443-463Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Open methods for coordinating (OMC) education policies in the EU rely on a number of techniques, one of which is policy learning. This article examines how policy learning and governance transform each other. More specifically, policy‐learning in the education OMC becomes differentiated into four distinct learning styles: mutual, competitive, surface and imperialistic learning. While they overlap with some forms of policy learning discussed in the literature, they are also different by focusing upon interactions and political dynamics between the European Commission and the member states. In seeking to understand how governing through learning occurs, we argue that any 'impact' of EU‐level policy‐learning is co‐constructed by both the European Commission and the member states. The analysis of this article is grounded in a discourse analytical and institutionalist perspective. It draws on qualitative data derived from semi‐structured interviews with officials from the Directorate General for Education and Culture in the European Commission and on EU documents generated during policy‐learning activities.

  • 46.
    McLean, Monica
    et al.
    Nottingham University, UK.
    Fisher, Michael
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, University of Keele, UK.
    Learning as a lever for change: delivering improved care through the activity of General Practice tutors2001In: The general practice jigsaw: the future of education, training and professional development / [ed] S. Field, B. Strachan, G. Evans, Oxford: Radcliffe Medical Press , 2001, p. 189-208Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 47. Morley, Louise
    et al.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Garaz, Stela
    González-Monteagudo, José
    Taba, Marius
    Internationalisation and migrant academics: The hidden narratives of mobility2018In: Higher Education, ISSN 0018-1560, E-ISSN 1573-174X, ISSN 0018-1560, Vol. 76, no 3, p. 537-554Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Internationalisation is a dominant policy discourse in the field of higher education today, driven by an assemblage of economic, social and educational concerns. It is often presented as an ideologically neutral, coherent, disembodied, knowledge-driven policy intervention—an unconditional good. Mobility is one of the key mechanisms through which internationalisation occurs, and is perceived as a major form of professional and identity capital in the academic labour market. Yet, questions remain about whether opportunity structures for mobility are unevenly distributed among different social groups and geopolitical spaces. While research studies and statistical data are freely available about the flows of international students, there is far less critical attention paid to the mobility of academics. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with 14 migrant academics from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Roma and Latin American communities, and the theoretical framings of the new mobility paradigm and cognitive and epistemic justice, this article explores some of the hidden narratives of migrant academics’ engagements with mobility in the global knowledge economy. It concludes that there is a complex coagulation of opportunities and constraints. While there are many gains including transcultural learning, enhanced employability and inter-cultural competencies, there are also less romantic aspects to mobility including ‘otherness’, affective considerations such as isolation, and epistemic exclusions, raising questions about whose knowledge is circulating in the global academy.

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  • 48.
    Thomson, Pat
    et al.
    University of Nottingham. UK.
    McGregor, Jane
    University of Nottingham. UK.
    Sanders, Ethel
    University of Nottingham. UK.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Keele University, UK.
    Changing schools: More than a lick of paint and a well-orchestrated performance?2009In: Improving Schools, ISSN 1365-4802, E-ISSN 1475-7583, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 43-57Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Creative Partnerships aims to change the ways in which children learn and teachers teach, and to support whole school change. Our research examines how schools take up the ‘cultural offer’ made by Creative Partnerships. In this article, drawing on data from snapshot visits to 40 English schools, we suggest that it has made a difference to school culture and to its meaning-making practices. In many of the schools it has also spread beyond one-off projects to help teachers change their pedagogical approach more generally.We found a consistent trend across the schools towards cross-curricular and integrated approaches which in some cases had also produced structural shifts in the use of space, time, budgets and promotion positions.We raise some concerns about the ways in which performative regimes inhibit what some schools are able to achieve, but also point to challenges for Creative Partnerships relating to assessment, knowledge, and understandings about social justice.

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