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Education Policy Research

In Education Policy Research, Helen M. Gunter, David Hall and Colin Mills bring together contributions from a range of researchers, academics and practitioners. Each chapter draws on critical theoretical perspectives and showcases innovative research projects within educational settings to understand the current changes in schools, schooling and education, to explore critical questions. The varied accounts demonstrate the importance of partnerships between schools and higher education, and of putting educational research into context, specifically charting the ways in which schools and schooling have been reformed through government interventions. Education Policy Research presents new research findings on the realities of how educational practice can be understood and explained, so enabling researchers to take a reflexive stance towards their own work. The editors and contributors take seriously the need to rethink their data and consider the contribution of research dispositions and practices to ongoing change and development. At the same time, the chapters give recognition to what research and researchers can and cannot do, contributing to the ongoing debates about the value of - and the urgent ongoing need for - social science research.
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Table of Contents

Foreword, Michael Apple Introduction: Working Towards Critical Social Explanation, Helen M. Gunter, David Hall and Colin Mills Part I: Embedded Researchers 1. Embedded research: contextualising managerialisation in a local authority, James R. Duggan (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) 2. Student Action Research: fluidity and researcher identities, Patricia M. Davies (University of Manchester, UK) 3. Navigating research partnerships as a critical secretary, Harriet Rowley (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) 4. School - university partnerships: border crossings as 'a legal alien', Maija Salokangas (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) Part II: Insider and Outsider Researchers 5. Negotiating trust: researching the practice of school business managers, Paul Armstrong (University of Manchester, UK) 6. Leading Primary Schools: Adopting and Shaping Practice for a Changing Climate, Maureen Cain (University of Manchester, UK) 7. Promoting researcher well-being: emerging and changing identites, Carl Emery (University of Manchester, UK) 8. New teachers and Masters-level study: researching tensions in the policy-practice interface, Cate Goodlad (University of Manchester, UK) and John Hull (University of Manchester, UK) Part III: Researchers as theorisers 9. School-university Research Partnerships: Knowledge Production and the Impact of Rapid Reform, Ruth McGinity (University of Manchester, UK) 10. Competing identities of the academic researcher in studies of higher education participation: Ambassador or Observer?, Steven Jones (University of Manchester, UK) 11. Virtue and ethics in education policy research: the case of "personalised learning" and "voice", Stephen Rogers (University of Manchester, UK) Conclusion: Thinking with Theory at a Time of Rapid Reform, Helen M. Gunter, David Hall and Colin Mills Index

Promotional Information

Challenges the aims, contexts and methodologies of research, to support researchers to broaden their understanding of the issues involved in social science research.

About the Author

Helen M. Gunter is Professor of Education Policy, Leadership and Management at the Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, UK. David Hall is Professor of Education Policy and Practice at the Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, UK. Colin Mills is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, UK.


This is more than a 'how to do it' text. It is both practical and theoretical, it is challenging and critical, thought-provoking and innovative whilst at the same time offering new knowledge to support the policy research arena as it grapples with new challenges . . . It should be a text that graces all university library shelves and one identified as compulsory reading for all PhD and Ed doctoral students as they plan their research design -- Liz Browne, Oxford Brookes University, UK * British Journal of Education Studies * This book is not just worthwhile, it is necessary. It asks difficult questions, transgresses boundaries and takes a stand. It is daring and careful, thoughtful and strident, focused and wide-ranging. It is more important than ever that we think about the what, how and why of educational research and this book will help us with that challenge and enable us as researchers to know who we want to be now. * Stephen J Ball, Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education, Institute of Education, University of London, UK * In this era of fast-paced, neoliberal policy churn, ideology trumps research. This collection of reflections on educational research gives us hope that research can be reflexive, relevant and timely. It suggests new research sites, new relationships with participants, and new ways of communicating our work to new audiences. * Gary Anderson, Professor of Educational Administration, New York University, USA * This book provides a lens on the harsh realities of English education and education policy. Many of the contributors are emerging, early career researchers. They provide fresh insights into the ways in which activist scholarship can be practised at a time when optimistic and critical intellectual research are sorely needed. * Pat Thomson, Professor of Education and Director of Centre for Advanced Studies, The University of Nottingham, UK *

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