Markets and equity in education

Year: 2013

Author: Stevens, Robert

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
Sahlberg argues that since the 1980s, at least five globally common features of education policies and reform principles have been employed in attempts to improve the quality of education, especially in terms of raising student achievement. 
1. standardisation in education....
2. increased focus on core subjects in curriculum, such as literacy and numeracy.
3. teaching with prescribed curriculum; in other words, searching for safe, low risk ways to reach predetermined learning goals. This minimises experimentation, reduces use of alternative pedagogical approaches, and limits risk taking in classrooms and schools.
4. Transfer of models from the corporate world as a main logic of change management.
5. High stakes accountability policies for schools
In this paper, I will argue that there is a growing realisation, in particular by the OECD, that transfer of models from the corporate world as a main logic of change management in schooling has not improved the quality of education.  High performing systems in the Program for International Student Assessment (such as Finland, Canada, Iceland and South Korea) seek to defuse competition between schools and systems and are reluctant to transfer market models as a logic of change management.    

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