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Envisioned and enacted practices: Educational policies and the ‘politics of use’ in schools

Schulte, Barbara LU orcid (2018) In Journal of Curriculum Studies 50(5). p.624-637
Abstract
It is widely known that there is a discrepancy between educational policy on the one side, and teaching and learning practices on the other. Most studies have been focusing on the sociocultural and micropolitical frames that shape teachers’ understandings and enactments of teaching, and that cause the vast diversity of classroom practices around the world. This article wants to draw attention to the ‘politics of use’ in teachers’ work: how teachers mobilize larger political narratives when implementing curriculum reform. Arguably, these narratives provide a shortcut between the central government and street-level actors, thus circumventing the logics of these actors’ immediate institutional environments.

In order to showcase the... (More)
It is widely known that there is a discrepancy between educational policy on the one side, and teaching and learning practices on the other. Most studies have been focusing on the sociocultural and micropolitical frames that shape teachers’ understandings and enactments of teaching, and that cause the vast diversity of classroom practices around the world. This article wants to draw attention to the ‘politics of use’ in teachers’ work: how teachers mobilize larger political narratives when implementing curriculum reform. Arguably, these narratives provide a shortcut between the central government and street-level actors, thus circumventing the logics of these actors’ immediate institutional environments.

In order to showcase the politics of use, the article uses the case of education for creativity as it is designed for and practiced at Chinese schools. The case reveals how education for creativity is compromised by requirements emanating from larger political programs when implemented in Chinese classrooms. The article challenges the view that educational policy necessarily moves through a trickle-down process, from higher to medium to lower-level actors. In cases of strong ideological alignment between street-level actors and central state actors, educational policy may in fact sidestep and hence neutralize important institutional actors. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
educational policy, teaching practice, policy-practice divide, politics of use, China
in
Journal of Curriculum Studies
volume
50
issue
5
pages
15 pages
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • scopus:85052875280
ISSN
0022-0272
DOI
10.1080/00220272.2018.1502812
project
Family, Migration and Welfare
Digital China
Nation state versus ethnicity: educating ethnic minorities in South-West China
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d2db562d-30c5-404b-9f86-d6cf7f9bc8f9
date added to LUP
2018-09-03 10:31:33
date last changed
2021-10-10 04:39:21
@article{d2db562d-30c5-404b-9f86-d6cf7f9bc8f9,
  abstract     = {It is widely known that there is a discrepancy between educational policy on the one side, and teaching and learning practices on the other. Most studies have been focusing on the sociocultural and micropolitical frames that shape teachers’ understandings and enactments of teaching, and that cause the vast diversity of classroom practices around the world. This article wants to draw attention to the ‘politics of use’ in teachers’ work: how teachers mobilize larger political narratives when implementing curriculum reform. Arguably, these narratives provide a shortcut between the central government and street-level actors, thus circumventing the logics of these actors’ immediate institutional environments.<br/><br/>In order to showcase the politics of use, the article uses the case of education for creativity as it is designed for and practiced at Chinese schools. The case reveals how education for creativity is compromised by requirements emanating from larger political programs when implemented in Chinese classrooms. The article challenges the view that educational policy necessarily moves through a trickle-down process, from higher to medium to lower-level actors. In cases of strong ideological alignment between street-level actors and central state actors, educational policy may in fact sidestep and hence neutralize important institutional actors.},
  author       = {Schulte, Barbara},
  issn         = {0022-0272},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {624--637},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Journal of Curriculum Studies},
  title        = {Envisioned and enacted practices: Educational policies and the ‘politics of use’ in schools},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/files/50527271/Envisioned_and_enacted_practices_educational_policies_and_the_politics_of_use_in_schools.pdf},
  doi          = {10.1080/00220272.2018.1502812},
  volume       = {50},
  year         = {2018},
}