Reform first and ask questions later? The implications of (fast) schooling policy and ‘silver bullet’ solutions

Journal article


Lewis, Steven and Hogan, Anna. (2019) Reform first and ask questions later? The implications of (fast) schooling policy and ‘silver bullet’ solutions. Critical Studies in Education. 60(1), pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2016.1219961
AuthorsLewis, Steven and Hogan, Anna
Abstract

This article explores the uptake of so-called fast policy solutions to problems in different education policy contexts and highlights the potential impacts that can arise from such policymaking approaches. We draw upon recent literature and theorising around notions of fast policy and evidence-informed policymaking, which suggests that, in an increasingly connected, globalised and temporally compressed social world, policymaking has become ‘speeded up’. This means that policymaking is now largely predicated upon looking around to foreign reference societies to borrow ‘ideas that work’, thereby encouraging particular forms of evidence, expertise and influence to dominate. We focus on three different examples of fast policy schooling documents – namely the OECD’s PISA for Schools report, the edu-business Pearson’s The Learning Curve and an Australian state (New South Wales) education department report entitled What Works Best – to show how all three documents promote an overly simplified, decontextualised and ‘one-size-fits-all’ understanding of schooling policy. This reflects what we describe as a ‘convergence of policy method’ across vastly different policy contexts (an IGO, global edu-business and government department), in which similarly fast policies, and methods of promoting such policies, appear to dominate over potentially more considered and contextually aware policymaking approaches.

Keywords‘Fast policy’; evidence-based; policymaking; data; PISA; OECD; Pearson
Year2019
JournalCritical Studies in Education
Journal citation60 (1), pp. 1-18
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN1750-8487
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2016.1219961
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84982298884
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-18
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online17 Aug 2016
Publication process dates
Accepted30 Jul 2016
Deposited03 Jun 2021
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