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ERIC Number: EJ900819
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 67
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
Maggie's Day: A Small-Scale Analysis of English Education Policy
Thomson, Pat; Hall, Christine; Jones, Ken
Journal of Education Policy, v25 n5 p639-656 Sep 2010
Policy sociologists typically research at large scale. This paper presents an example of a policy analysis which illuminates how policy is embedded in single incidents, lives and places. The case in point concerns the policy fetish for "closing the gap and raising the bar". This rhetoric is taken to mean improving the learning of all students, while at the same time producing a more equitable, quality education system. In the case in point, we mobilise an ethnographic fragment and the spatial theory of Henri Lefebvre in order to examine the ways in which the policy technology of transforming students into measurable data plays out in the life of one group of Year 10 girls in a struggling English comprehensive school. We argue that our analysis demonstrates that in this very particular case, the pedagogies intended to promote attainment actually accomplished the reverse. We suggest that, following this example, policy sociologists might gain from further research at the micro/vernacular levels of schooling.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)