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ERIC Number: EJ880523
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0620
The Reforming Trajectory of the Italian Educational System. Site-Based Management and Decentralisation as a Challenge for Democratic Discourse
Grimaldi, Emiliano; Serpieri, Roberto
Journal of Educational Administration and History, v42 n1 p75-95 Feb 2010
This article aims to present some tensions embedded in the Italian educational reform, arising both from the enactment of neo-liberal policies and the possibilities of democratic development opened up by the introduction of schools' site-based management and decentralisation. The article uses discourses as heuristic devices and presents two case studies regarding the enactment of policies of educational governance promoted in 2003 by a local authority (the Italian Provincia) and inspired by the democratic discourse. These policies were intended to promote the participation and collaboration of schools and heads in educational planning. It illustrates how the neo-liberal discourse re-shaped the Italian educational system and challenged welfarism. At the same time, we also attempt to illustrate the action of cultural path dependencies and the space emerging for a democratic discourse, which could be interpreted both as an alternative to its neo-liberal counterpart and as an attempt to re-discover democratic participation and promote more equity-oriented practices in the educational field. Two different understandings of educational governance and headship seem to emerge. The study underlines how the intertwining of national and local policies inspired by contradicting discourses could result in the spread of competitive practices and consequently in a further differentiation of the educational provision and stratification between schools, or have an egalitarian outcome, where processes of collaboration, collective empowerment and reflexivity are enacted. Our work demonstrates how democratic and collaborative spaces opened up by site-based management and policies of educational governance implemented at a local level are always at risk, due both to the rise of competitive pressures and the resilience of welfarist discourses and practice. (Contains 62 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy