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Ethics and the business of schooling : developing a critical realist methodology

Vertigan, Sean Anthony; (2007) Ethics and the business of schooling : developing a critical realist methodology. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract: Absent from critical education policy analysis is a discussion of the ethical beliefs of those actors who mediate the effects of policy in schools and colleges. The assumed homology between businesses and schools, which underlies 'managerialism', generates ethical values that are often contradictory for those who are managed. The ethical aporias that emerge from managing schools as if they were a business forms the substance of this thesis. Also absent from the literature that discusses the ethics of schools, teaching and educational administration is sufficient attention to the context and mechanisms of policy that shape the outcome of teachers' ethical beliefs and conduct. How policy may enable or constrain ethical beliefs is brought into consideration. A critical realist methodology is developed to explore the emergent ethical beliefs of teachers, that is the managed as opposed to the management. Using ethnographic tools informed by critical realism, a sample of teachers from a secondary school and Further Education college were interviewed. This involved a'discussion of a set of eight vignettes constructed-on the basis of ethical problems that derive from the acceptance that an isomorphism exists between schools and business. Teachers were asked to discuss what aspects of managerial policies make their'moral compass spin'. The three - data analysis chapters make a substantive contribution to understanding the ethical regime of schools as businesses, from the 2 perspective of 'the managed', and they also take critical policy analysis into the realm of ethics. The thesis is also an attempt to demonstrate and explore the possibilities of using and applying dialectical critical realist concepts creatively to an empirical problem. This involves testing the suitability of critical realist analytical strategies and techniques and is intended to address the present lack of guidance in conducting a critical realist qualitative data analysis in educational research. I hereby declare that, except where explicit attribution is made, the work presented in this thesis is entirely my own.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Ethics and the business of schooling : developing a critical realist methodology
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos...
Language: English
Additional information: Leaves 372-411 are appendices
Keywords: Schools,Further education institutions,Policy implementation,Educational management,Teachers,Lecturers,Professional ethics,Educational research,Theses
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10007511
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