Investigating Educational Policy Through Ethnography

ISBN: 978-0-76231-018-0, eISBN: 978-1-84950-210-8

ISSN: 1529-210X

Publication date: 22 April 2003


Understanding the concepts of policy and policy-making is far from straightforward. There has now been considerable empirical and theoretical work on the nature of policy development and implementation, and it is abundantly clear that the whole process is far more complex, dynamic, and interactive than any of the traditional linear or staged models suggest. There have been many attempts to describe and analyses this complexity, and the models produced have frequently been highly contested. However, it is evident that policy is not made ‘once and for all’ by people called ‘policy-makers’. Any attempt to make change within the educational system is the result of compromise and circumstance and, even where the change is incorporated in law, the nature of that change that results is often far from clear. This ambiguity and lack of clarity is not necessarily due to poor drafting of the law, but is usually the result of the constraints within which most legislation comes to be agreed.


Walford, G. (2003), "INTRODUCTION: INVESTIGATING EDUCATION POLICY", walford, G. (Ed.) Investigating Educational Policy Through Ethnography (Studies in Educational Ethnography, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 231-250.

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