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Title: Educational reform and change in the south : a matter of restructuring as well as reculturing - experiences from Zambia
Author: Volan, Sissel
ISNI:       0000 0001 3549 0159
Awarding Body: University of Winchester
Current Institution: University of Winchester
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis sets out to address the question of how Change Theory may help in understanding the process of educational reform in a developing country - Zambia. The study uses the voices of key actors in the change process to heighten understanding of what happens as reform is introduced. The study has also been designed to track the reform process in Zambia as a means to refining Change Theory and for the development of broader principles which may illuminate educational reform efforts elsewhere. Since the 'end product' is towards a qualitative understanding of process and dynamic, the study is longitudinal and uses a multi-method qualitative research methodology. The thesis looks at theories of educational reform and change, focusing initially on material from the developed world but picking up on research and literature from the South as well. The role of the school in an increasingly globalised environment is examined and the complexities of the change process are assessed. Recent trends in development assistance to education such as the Sector Wide Approach are furthermore discussed. The history and the current status of education in Zambia and its challenges are dealt with as an introduction to BESSIP, the Basic Education Sub-Sector Investment Programme. The thesis then turns to the voices of the key actors in the process of change. Teachers, parents, community leaders, Ministry officials and children themselves are included in the analysis. The findings of the research are then brought together, indicating the categories into which informants' responses might be organised. A structure of issues emerges from the analysis dealing with the actual process of reform, levels of participation and exclusion and concerns regarding empowerment. Some familiar principles from international research are confirmed; for example, change mandated from the top is commonplace whilst evidence suggests that pressure from above accompanied by pressure from below are necessary for real change to take root. The study demonstrates thzLt decentralisation of control does not necessarily lead to greater equity, that quality in education needs to be related to the real life world of the pupils and that the cultural context is all important in anchoring innovation to reality. The study concludes that a reform programme like BESSIP is much more than a technical restructuring of an educational system. Embedded in the reforrn is the task of changing the culture of a major social service like education from a top down bureaucratic structure to a more demand driven system. The deep and long term challenge is identified as the reculturing process.
Supervisor: Williams, Anne ; Smith, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available