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Title: The practice of policy : a study of the role of the support services in the implementation of curriculum and assessment policy in the Republic of Ireland
Author: Looney, Anne
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2004
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The study investigates the work of the curriculum support services in the curriculum and assessment policy process in the Republic of Ireland. The curriculum support services are made up of seconded teachers who work with their peers in schools, supporting the implementation of changes in curriculum and assessment in primary and post-primary schools. Drawing on the policy cycle and the contexts of the policy process, particularly as presented by Stephen Ball, the work of the support services is considered from a policy studies perspective. The implications this perspective, as opposed to one of school change, or of teacher professional development, are considered throughout. The usefulness of the policy cycle as a heuristic for curriculum and assessment policy is also examined. As the researcher was working in the policy process during the conduct of the research, particular attention is given to insider issues. Data was collected by means of a postal questionnaire, and focus group discussions. One of the questionnaire items included a graphic representation of the policy cycle and respondents had the opportunity to interpret and interrogate their own experiences in representing them in the data collection process. The application of the policy cycle as heuristic shows that the path from development to implementation in the Republic of Ireland is neither direct nor smooth. The study reveals multiple pathways, with apparent differences between the work at primary and post-primary levels, and between the implementation of curriculum and assessment policies. Bringing a policy studies perspective to contemporary curriculum and assessment discourse is shown to offer new theoretical resources for the relatively dystopian field of curriculum, and a source of critique for assessment, for the assessment literature, and particularly for the emerging utopian discourse of 'assessment for learning'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available