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Title: Educational leadership in the International Baccalaureate : critical reflections on modern elite formation and social differentiation
Author: Outhwaite, Deborah Emily
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 0221
Awarding Body: University of Derby
Current Institution: University of Derby
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis has focussed on the International Baccalaureate’s Diploma Programme (IBDP). This focus arose from the author having worked in three centres which had subsequently gone on to adopt the IBDP, and which had thus given the author access to an initial purposive sample. This sample was later extended to include another five schools/colleges, as the author found that the initial interviewing sample had yielded inconclusive findings. The extended sample, however, provided a significantly rich source of qualitative data. This thesis examines leadership, and how leaders choose to implement non-mandatory curricula choices in schools and colleges. It also addresses whether leaders believe that these choices make differences to their students’ life chances through social mobility. This thesis investigates what happens when leaders can no longer afford to offer such choices to their students: how this makes them ‘feel’, and what they have ‘experienced’, through the removal of a curriculum option for educationalists and learners alike. It also addresses how leaders ‘feel’ when their students maintain access to curricula choices that other post-16 students are unable to access. The thesis also considers the development and extension of ‘a globally mobile transnational elite’ group (Savage et al, 2015: 244), and the leaders in education who deliver and extend this position. There have been eight phases to this research process, including four strands of data collection, with post-16 students, middle tier staff, HEI students, and Senior Leadership Teams in providing institutions, but the determining focus is with the SLTs interviews (N=28), conducted in 2014 and 2015. These were the individuals who had taken the decisions on the implementation of this non-mandatory curriculum area. The thesis analyzes some of the current areas of ‘distinction’ (Bourdieu, 1986) on independent schooling, and the research process demonstrates the significant gaps that are opening up between more traditional upper middle class groups in contrast with more adept transnational students and their parents. The thesis confirms that a global transnational elite exists inside the English education system, and that it uses the IBDP extensively to establish its separate cultural identity. It identifies ways of access to HEIs that are now a critical part of that cultural entity, as discussed by Savage et al (2015). This thesis is therefore an indicator of new and emerging forms of social differentiation, and examines how this is created using the IBDP. At a time of decreasing social mobility for the mainstream population, the thesis explores whether education environments are able to influence either their students or the wider education policy agenda, in order to actively achieve social justice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cultural Capital ; Education Leadership ; Elites ; Globalization ; International Baccalaureate ; Social Mobility