School Effectiveness for Whom? Challenges to the School Effectiveness and School Improvement Movements

By Roger Slee; Gaby Weiner et al. | Go to book overview

Notes
1
This is a twice reworked paper: a first version was given as the Annual Address to the Standing Conference for Studies of Education, at the Royal Society of Arts, London, 4th November 1994; a second appeared as an article in the British Journal of Educational Studies, 1995, 43, 3, under the title 'Intellectuals or technicians: The urgent role of theory in educational studies'. I am grateful to the editors for their permission to re-use the paper.

2 Rorty (1989, p. xvi) for example, places ethnography rather differently.

3
One of the most common responses to the original version of this text was to ask whether I am leaving myself and educational studies open to the criticism that the point of philosophy is not simply to describe the world, but to help to change it. My text may be read as deficient in those terms but I intend to convey very much the opposite message. I would see a specific and situated politics, a politics of the immediate, of the every day, of the personal as the logical concomitant of my arguments. Furthermore, I am counselling both boldness and modesty. Boldness in relation to the specifics of power; both in our own backyards and in our research sites. Modesty in our normative claims and in our general political ambitions. But this is a dangerous politics very different from the safe, fictive revolutionism that remains a la mode in some parts of the academy.
4
I am grateful to Jo Boaler, Alan Cribb, David Halpin, Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Maria Tamboukou and Jack Whitehead for their comments on earlier versions of the text. Some of which I have acted upon, others of which remain as food for thought, for further writing and further conversations.

References
ALTHUSSER, L. (1975) Lenin and Philosophy and Others Essays, London: Verso.
ANGUS, L. (1993) 'The sociology of school effectiveness', British Journal of Sociology of Education, 14, 3, pp. 333-45.
BALL, S.J. (1990) 'Management as moral technology: A luddite analysis', Foucault and Education: Disciplines and Knowledge, London: Routledge.
BALL, S.J. (1994) Education Reform: A Critical and Post-structural Approach, Buckingham: Open University Press.
BECK, U. (1992) Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
BERNSTEIN, B. (1996) Pedagogy, Symbolic Control & Identity: theory, research, antique London: Taylor Francis.
COHEN, S. (1993) Academia and the Luster of Capita, Minnesota: Minnesota University Press.
DALE, R. (1992) 'Recovering from a pyrrhic victory? Quality, relevance and impact in the sociology of education', in AMIOT, M. and BARTON, L. (eds) Voicing Concerns, Wallingford: Triangle.
DE LAURETIS, T. (1990) 'Eccentric subjects: Feminist theory and historical consciousness', Feminist Studies, 16, 1, pp. 133-46.
Eco, U. (1994) Apocalypse Postponed (edited by R. Lumley), London: BFI Publishing.
FAY, B. (1975) Social Theory and Political Practice, London: Allen and Unwin.
FOUCAULT, M. (1977) Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
FOUCAULT, M. (1979a) Discipline and Punish, Harmondsworth: Peregrine.

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