State curriculum control in Greece and England : a comparative study
The thesis is a comparative study of the policies of curriculum control in Greece and England with particular reference to primary education. The comparison is between a traditional bureaucratic centralised pattern (Greece) which in terms of educational control is called here mono-dimensional and a new 'market-like' pattern which combines centralisation and decentralisation (England) and is termed bidimensional. The two cases differ in their mode of management control but they intersect at their mode of curriculum control. However, the thesis suggests that although in both countries the mode of curriculum control is centralised, there is an emphasis on different message systems. While the Greek centralised curriculum is characterised by strong prescription of content and pedagogy and weak definition of assessment procedures, the English centralised curriculum is marked by strong definition of evaluation and weak prescription of content and pedagogy. The main argument of the thesis is tested in three main areas, taken as tertia comparationis of the study. First, there is an investigation of the policies of curriculum reform which took place in the two countries during the 1980s. The research identifies official shifts to different educational priorities and models of pedagogic practice (competence and performance) in primary education. Secondly, the thesis analyses central curriculum planning as an attempt of the state to regulate schools' pedagogic practice. Here the focus is on the theoretical approach underpinning curriculum planning, the extent to which the three message systems are pre-defined and the main means used by the central authority to make schools comply with the official requirements. Thirdly, the study examines inspectorial policies in the two countries, as state actions intended to monitor the realisation of the official curriculum in schools. Finally, in the conclusion, it is suggested that there is a different economy of curriculum control in the two patterns - in terms of the human, symbolic and financial resources used to regulate pedagogic practice.