Education Policy and Realist Social Theory: Primary by Robert Wilmott

By Robert Wilmott

In Europe welfare nation provision has been subjected to 'market forces'. during the last 20 years, the framework of monetary competitiveness has turn into the defining objective of schooling, to be accomplished via new managerialist innovations and mechanisms. This publication thoughtfully and persuasively argues in contrast new imaginative and prescient of schooling, and gives a distinct, extra helpful capability approach.This in-depth significant learn could be of serious curiosity to researchers within the sociology of schooling, schooling coverage, social thought, association and administration reports, and in addition to execs excited about the deleterious effect of present schooling coverage on kid's studying and welfare.

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Extra info for Education Policy and Realist Social Theory: Primary Teachers, Child-Centred Philosophy and the New Managerialism (Routledge Studies in Critical Realism)

Example text

For, as the foregoing indicates, structural emergent properties are only causally efficacious through people, not in spite of people (the error of reification). Human agency ever remains the sole efficient cause. In his haste to avoid Cartesian dualism, Knights elides the referent. Linguistic distinctions (structure/agency) presuppose referential detachment; namely, the detachment of the act of reference from that to which it refers. ‘This establishes at once its existential intransivity and the possibility of another reference to it, a condition of any intelligible discourse at all.

Structure, agency and educational change 35 Recently, I gave the example of the Next Steps initiative16 (Willmott 2000a). Here, any substantive analysis of the development of Next Steps agencies requires that we focus on the structure before the Sir Robin Ibbs initiative (structural conditioning), the agential response (social interaction) and the subsequent outcome (structural elaboration or stasis). As Brooks and Bate (1994) found in their study, structured vested interests, ideologically backed-up, conditioned limited structural morphogenesis.

We are thus dealing with dual aspects of social reality. Of course, like the generic referents ‘structure’ and ‘agency’, analytical dualism is a portmanteau, since we are not just dealing with two irreducible aspects of social reality (we are talking inter alia about the irreducible levels of school/educational system/polity). Indeed, there is no a priori limit to the number of emergent social strata in society. The methodological device of ‘analytical dualism’ is the generic springboard from which to gain entrée to social reality because it denotes that ‘structure’ and ‘agency’ are sui generis levels and thus examinable dualistically (or separably) in order to examine their sequencing of mutual influence over time.

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