The Critical Subject of Reform

The Critical Subject of Reform

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Of all the objects in educational discourse, school reform has been one of the most durable. We are told our economy and way of life (still) depend upon it. Currently some teachers' and principals' jobs depend upon achieving it. The values leadership literature tells us we ought to do it. Valuable work has been done in tracing the history of large scale school reforms, and how-to advice for reforming individual schools thickly populates popular educational literature, yet there is a gap in what we know about the social practices in schools that have successfully disrupted and then reformed their educational practices. This study examines the social practices in two elementary schools out of which educational practices emerged that resulted in school reform. The data to be examined came from interviewing teachers and administrators in two urban elementary schools impacted by poverty. Those data were analyzed using techniques borrowed from critical discourse and analysis and a Foucauldian conceptual framework of subjectivity and power. This study concludes that changes to social practices were most critical in the formations of subject identity, power, and discursive objects, which functioned recursively in the two schools that produced school reform. This study has implications for the social practices that are part of all educational practices, especially as those practices relate to the construction of student and teacher subjects and the role of power.Richard Elmore (2006) says that the aquot;instructional coreaquot; is what happens in the relationship between the student and teacher in the presence of content (222), what I have been calling the core technology, but specifying its site does not amountanbsp;...

Title:The Critical Subject of Reform
Author:Bruce A. Law
Publisher:ProQuest - 2007


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