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ERIC Number: ED454585
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Seduction of the Subject/Citizen: Governmentality and School Governance Policy.
Spencer, Brenda L.
Traditional educational policy analysis is typically evaluative, focusing on degrees of success or failure, often obscuring how particular forms of knowledge and power reproduce social inequity. A Foucauldian, postmodern framework is particularly appropriate for analyzing educational policy because, in part, the Foucauldian concepts of "discipline,""power,""the subject," and "governmentality" can reveal how significant policy problems related to social inequity are embedded in the discourses of democratization and of responsibility and accountability. Several texts were analyzed, including policy documents and other materials available on the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training Web site. As in other places, Ontario's new reforms reflect a fixation on reforming schools to improve economic competitiveness. Key findings from this investigation include the observation that reforms intended to empower all educational stakeholders are limited by a larger political and economic context. As in other Western nations, the devolution of authority implied by Ontario's reforms, designed to invest all stakeholders in carrying out successful reforms tailored to local realities, is fundamentally limited by the continuing realities of centralized control of funding and accountability processes. The populist-sounding discourse of devolution, decentralization, and participation work to align the self-regulating subject/citizen to the desires of the state in ways that undermine social equity. Further research is needed to assess how the discourses embedded in policy documents are perceived, used, and resisted by local school council members. (Contains 46 references.) (TEJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Translations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada