Pragmatic Policy Development Problems and solutions in educational policy making

Year: 1991

Author: Crump, Stephen James

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Educational reforms and legislative initiatives in Australia and internationally during the late 1980s have imposed new political solutions on to the problems being experienced in school settings. In Australia, during the 1990s, the NSW government's School Centred Education [SCE] report is just one example of the international trend towards the ministerialisation of education policy-making. This paper aims to explore the experiences of key personnel active in the management and leadership of the SCE initiatives. The paper will explore this context through recent and emerging research data which offers new insights into the nature of solutions already in the process of development in New South Wales and offer some contrasts on the national level. The data is based on a sequence of research projects. The intent of these projects is to develop a cultural mapping of the policy process through exploring the juxtaposition of the intent and implementation of political reforms. The data collected so far portrays a situation identified as "pragmatic policy development". The paper will conclude by providing an analysis of the effects of domination/liberation in contemporary policy which targets the sites, structures and legitimation of power, and the actors' "spaces for freedom".