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Title: Choice markets and comprehensive schools : a qualitative study of teacher and student expereince
Author: Heath, Natalie Clare
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 1666
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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The aims of the study were: to consider qualitatively the ways in which school choice and market policies were experienced by schools, teachers and students and to consider similarities and differences in choice patterns and student intakes in different locales. Six schools, three in each of two locales, North Town and East Town were considered. East Town was identified as a locale where parents actively chose schools, and North Town as a locale where few parents made active choices. Four tutor groups from each school, two from year eight and two from year ten, were interviewed along with a sample of teachers. The study uses post-structural analysis of discourses to examine the qualitative interview data. It also draws on several bodies of theory: Critical Race Theory; Foucauldian analysis; and Bourdieu's concept of capital. The thesis considers the effects of school choice on schools within each locale, comparing differences between the towns. It argues that whilst East Town is heavily affected by choice, there is little evidence of active choice within North Town. East Town teachers are heavily influenced by market and accountability discourses and feel in competition with other schools. As a result students are categorised by a fixed notion of ability and in relation to an 'ideal student'. Emphasis on ability was less visible in North Town where students are often unaware of choice. Choice in East Town had positive effects on some schools and students but negative effects on others, with serious consequences for student self esteem. Racial segregation across schools in both locales emerged as a central concern. In comparing the towns, the thesis argues that East Town provides an example of the effects of overt choice policy, whilst North Town is less affected by the choice market, retaining comprehensive ideals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available