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ERIC Number: EJ845750
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1570-2081
Variation Theory and the Different Ways of Experiencing Educational Policy
Tan, Kelvin
Educational Research for Policy and Practice, v8 n2 p95-109 Jul 2009
Differences and contradictions in understanding education policies such as "Teach Less, learn More" may cause confusion between the intended meaning and actual implementation. Approaches to understanding public policy, such as discourse analysis, are useful for highlighting such differences, but do not explain how these differences may be explained in relation to each other. Phenomenography and variation theory offer an alternative, by examining the "variation within," rather than the "differences between," experiences of an educational policy. In the past decade, there have been significant developments in the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of phenomenography which were initially labeled as "new phenomenography", but gradually came to accepted as variation theory. In this article, I trace the development of phenomenography to variation theory and explain the critical differences between classical phenomenography and variation theory. I argue that variation theory is useful for describing educational policy from the perspective of how it is experienced, and that these different ways of experiencing a policy may in turn be understood and utilised in theoretical, analytical and pedagogical ways.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A