Social class and the effective school paradigm

John Leo Doyle (Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Samantha Wells (Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Publication date: 1 August 1997


The effective school paradigm has dominated educational and political thinking concerning the nature of schools for the last two decades. This paradigm asserts that it is the characteristics of schools that are the important factors that influence academic achievement. It is a perspective that is the opposite of the view that was widely held in the 1960s and early 1970s; which placed a much greater emphasis on the social context. Explores weaknesses in the effective school paradigm, considers how adequately the effective school paradigm explains recent developments such as the events at Hackney Downs in the London Borough of Hackney, and stimulates a debate on how the social environment affects what happens inside schools.



Leo Doyle, J. and Wells, S. (1997), "Social class and the effective school paradigm", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 145-148.

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Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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