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The education debate

Education is a continuing key political issue for the UK government. It is seen as a crucial factor in ensuring economic productivity and competitiveness, in generating social mobility and tackling social inequality - but are these goals either feasible or compatible? In this fully updated edition of this bestselling book, Stephen J. Ball, a leading author in the field, guides us through the flood of government initiatives and policies of the past 20 years, including the Academies programme, parental choice, Free schools, National Curriculum and teaching standards. He looks at how these policy interventions have changed the landscape and meaning of education, turned children into 'learners' and parents into 'consumers', and played their part in the re-formation of contemporary governance. This authoritative and accessible book uses Ball's sociological approach to the analysis of current policies and ideas around education to address issues of class, choice, globalisation, race and citizenship, as well as the conflicting needs of children and families on the one hand and the economy and the state on the other.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction to key concepts: education policy, economic necessity and public service reform; Class, comprehensives and continuities: a short history of English education policy; Current policy models and The UK government's approach to public service reform; Current key issues: forms of policy and forms of inequity; A sociology of education policy: past, present and future.

About the Author

Stephen J. Ball is Karl Mannheim Professor of the Sociology of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. His work is in 'policy sociology' and he has conducted a series of ten ESRC-funded studies which focus on issues of social class and social and education policy. He has an honorary doctorate from Turku University, Finland, is Visiting Professor at the University of San Andres, Argentina, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He edits the Journal of Education Policy and his most recent books include How Schools Do Policy (with Meg Maguire and Annette Braun), Global Education Inc., Networks New Governance and Education (with Carolina Junemann), and Foucault, Power and Education.


"The Education Debate is a tour de force not only for its authority and penetration but also......its accessibility." Higher Education Review "His introduction to key concepts should be required reading both for those engaged in policy making processes and those seeking to influence change in education." Runnymede Bulletin "Stephen Ball provides the intellectual resources for understanding how education policy is produced, what it seeks to do and what its effects are. Theoretically and empirically adroit, it is essential reading for all those needing to understand education policy and politics. --Bob Lingard, Andrew Bell Professor of Education, The University of Edinburgh

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