By David Scott
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Additional info for Reading Educational Research and Policy (Learning About Teaching)
A policy text may be: prescriptive or non-prescriptive, ideologically explicit or opaque, generic or directed, single-authored or multiple-authored, diagrammatic or written, referenced to other texts or free of such references, coherent or fragmented, and have a wide or narrow focus. In order to critically read a policy text, the reader or practitioner needs to understand their reading as constructed by these various devices. They also need to locate their reading within the policy process itself and it is to this that we now turn.
Again, the point of doing this is clear: the inspection mechanism referred to above must be understood as incontrovertible and unproblematic and furthermore as the only possible way of achieving the political objectives of the government. , p. 17). There is a delicate balance to be maintained between praise for the achievements of the policy and the exhortation that the education service could do even better. What is being deployed here is rhetoric and polemic under the guise of careful argument and empirical research.
37) Or, to take another example: Section 10 inspections show that there has been a significant overall improvement in sixth-form teaching over the last year. The proportion of lessons judged very good or excellent has risen from 15 per cent to 22 per cent whilst the proportion judged unsatisfactory has fallen from 5 per cent to 3 per cent. The quality of teaching improves markedly from Year 11 to Year 12 and is better again in Year 13. , p. 47) The language used here, and this is generally representative of the language used in the body of the report, may be contrasted with the language used by the Chief Inspector in his initial comments and analysis.