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Title: Implementing curriculum and assessment reform : a case study of the English 5-14 curriculum, 1990-1994
Author: Percy, Sandra
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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In November 1987, the Scottish Education Department published the consultant paper "Curriculum and Assessment in Scotland: a policy for the 1990s". The paper set out a series of proposals for the reform of curriculum and assessment in primary and early secondary schooling. Arguably, they constitute the most far-reaching set of changes for primary and secondary schooling in Scotland ever proposed in one document. This thesis considers these proposals as an illustration of the dominant features of contemporary Scottish educational policy-making. It contextualises this initiative within an analysis of the historical background, theoretical approaches to educational administration and processes of change in both primary and secondary schooling and the current situation with regard to specific policy in Scottish education, that which concerns curriculum and assessment. The methodology adopted is that of an ethnographic case study approach which collates and examines the teaching and assessment of English Language in a rural secondary school and one of its associated primary schools. This case study draws upon the theoretical and practical perspectives of policy implementation in an attempt to formulate how a government-devised, centre-driven innovation is implemented by teachers in the classroom. The case study shows that the publication of the Government's proposals and the implementation of the policy are evidence of a shift in policy-making style in Scotland, from debate followed consensus to consultation followed by imposition. It indicates the key factors affecting efficacious implementation of the initiative at a school level are the style of leadership and administrative structures in operation in the school, the influences of existing practice and the degree of subject specialist knowledge possessed by teachers responsible for the implementation of the initiative in the classroom. From the case study it is argued that if a government wishes to achieve efficacious implementation of a centre-driven policy initiative it requires to be more aware of, and sensitive to, the political climate into which the initiative is introduced. In addition, it must acknowledge that the school itself, in terms of both the institution and the individual, is a central facet in this process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available