Researching education policy: Ethical and methodological issues

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The methodology researching of educational policy is the subject of this book. It takes a "behind the scenes" look at the conducting, the analysis and the interpretation of research carried out into educational policy issues revolving around the 1988 Education Reform Act.; The contributors draw on their project research experience to demonstrate the breadth of issues lionked with such policy research, and cover the gender and power balance between interviewer and interviewee, the difficulties resulting from different ideological stances of researchers and researched, and difficulties in finding links between research and policy.

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface
Ch. 1 Reforms, Research and Being Reflexive About Being Reflective 1
Pt. 1 Theory, Scholarship and Research into Education Policy 15
Ch. 2 Where We Are Now: Reflections on the Sociology of Education Policy 17
Ch. 3 Applied Education Politics or Political Sociology of Education?: Contrasting Approaches to the Study of Recent Education Reform in England and Wales 31
Ch. 4 Coming to Terms with Research: The Contract Business 42
Ch. 5 Scholarship and Sponsored Research: Contradiction, Continuum or Complementary Activity? 55
Pt. 2 The Ethics of Research into Education Policy 73
Ch. 6 The Constraints of Neutrality: The 1988 Education Reform Act and Feminist Research 75
Ch. 7 Political Commitment in the Study of the City Technology College, Kingshurst 94
Ch. 8 Researching Inside the State: Issues in the Interpretation of Elite Interviews 107
Ch. 9 Sex, Lies and Audiotape: Interviewing the Education Policy Elite 121
Pt. 3 Methodological Perspectives on Research into Education Policy 137
Ch. 10 Ethnography, Policy Making and Practice in Education 139
Ch. 11 Why Didn't You Use a Survey to Generalize Your Findings?: Methodological Issues in a Multiple Site Case Study of School Governing Bodies after the 1988 Education Reform Act 154
Ch. 12 Students' Secondary School Careers: Research in a Climate of 'Moving Perspectives' 170
Ch. 13 Researching Parents after the 1988 Education Reform Act 184
Ch. 14 Practice and Prospects in Education Policy Research 198
Appendix 207
Notes on Contributors 208
Index 213
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