Ethnography and Educational Policy: A View across the Americas

Ethnography and Educational Policy: A View across the Americas

Ethnography and Educational Policy: A View across the Americas

Ethnography and Educational Policy: A View across the Americas

Synopsis

Third in the series "Sociocultural Studies of Educational Policy Formation and Appropriation," this volume brings together scholars from North America, South America, and Europe to examine the relationship between ethnographic research and educational policy.

Excerpt

Within the United Kingdom questions about the quality and relevance of educational research have recently been at the center of a prolonged public, and sometimes acrimonious, debate. This debate is far from being isolated to the United Kingdom, as it was two major reports from ceri and from Australia that originally sparked the concern (Australian Research Council, 1992; ceri, 1995; see also Rudduck, 1998). These reports led the British Economic and Social Research Council to commission two reports that reviewed “the position of research into education in the United Kingdom with a view to increasing the Council’s knowledge of the particular problems facing educational research and its development over the next decade” (ESRC, 1993) and that considered the educational organization and management of research (Ranson, 1995a) (see also Gray, 1998; Ranson, 1998).

A further “strategic review of educational research” was commissioned by the Leverhulme Trust and conducted by David Hargreaves and Michael Beveridge (1995), and a sustained critique of educational research was launched in 1996 by David Hargreaves in a much publicized speech given at the annual Teacher Training Agency conference. in that lecture he argued that much educational research was irrelevant to the needs of teachers and policymakers. He called for an end to

Second-rate educational research which does not make a serious contribution to fundamental theory or knowledge; which is irrelevant to practice; which is un-coordinated with any preceding or follow-up research; and which clutters up academic journals that virtually nobody reads. (Hargreaves, 1996, p. 7)

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