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Title: Why be a governor and what is involved? : the motivation and role perceptions of parent governors of inner city primary schools in England
Author: Winston, David
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2013
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It is difficult to recruit parents from inner city primary schools to govern their children's schools. This study traces the history of primary school governance in England as the context in which governors operate. Drawing on life histories, it explores the lives of five parents who do volunteer and the influences which dispose them to undertake the role. It then considers the way parent governors perceive the role in their own words but also through the way they discharge their responsibi lities. This raises a question about the extent to which they exercise agency in carrying out their responsibil it ies; reasons for this are sought. An interpretivist methodology is used to explore the social world. Life history methods are utilised as they can throw light on the social context of a life which can be powerful in suggesting explanations as to why things happen. Data gathering is by interviews; the emerging data was transformed using emplotment derived from narrative analysis as a means of making sense of the person's decision to become a parent governor. Historical data is gathered from a number of sources which is transformed into an account of the history of primary school governance by division into three eras, each with a dominant discourse. This approach goes back ultimately to Foucault's methods of archaeology! genealogy. Theory is then used to deepen the emerging interpretations both of the life histories and the historical account of the development of primary school governance in England. Bourdieu's concepts of habitus and cultural capital enrich understanding of the life histories, and Foucault's ideas of govern mentality and genealogy add depth to understanding of the history of governance. Understanding how school governance has developed in the past and how it operates in the present is brought together with the life histories of the parent governors who have taken part in the study in order to throw light on why they act as they do in a core area of governance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available