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Reference: Griffin, Catherine Rosarii., (2001). The mediation of market-related policies for the provision of public second level education. Dphil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:


The mediation of market-related policies for the provision of public second level education Subtitle: An international comparative study of selected locations in England, Ireland and the USA

Abstract: ´╗┐This thesis is entitled The Mediation of Market-Related Policies for the Provision ofPublic Second Level Education: An International Comparative Study of SelectedLocations in England, Ireland and the USA. The two key words in this thesis title are'mediation' and 'comparative'. The focus of this thesis is on the phenomenon ofmediation. The market-related policies that are being examined in the light ofmediation are choice policies or open enrolment policies for the provision of secondlevel public schooling. However, this is not a thesis about school choice but rather onthe factors and stakeholders that affect the mediation of a policy. As the focus is onmediation, and not on policy analysis, this study is therefore, of necessity, aqualitative one. The researcher used semi-structured interviews, combined withdocumentary evidence, to understand both the contexts and the interactions in whichmediation of various kinds takes place.The second notable feature is that this study is a comparative one. Theresearcher chose three countries where market related policies were beingimplemented, albeit to different effect. The countries chosen were England, Irelandand the USA (Massachusetts). The comparative dimension enabled the researcher tochallenge ethnocentric assumptions about the modus operandi of policy at the grass-roots level. In order to understand the operation of the market, the researcher selectedcomparable locations in all three countries. As 'markets' are intrinsically local, theresearcher examined how policy is mediated at the local level.The three conurbations were selected on the basis of their comparability, noneof which are capital cities. Research was conducted in all three locations in threeseparate phases: pre-pilot to ascertain their suitability; pilot work to prepare thegroundwork and then the main study. In all, over sixty interviews were held at local,regional and national levels, although the focus was primarily on the local.Documentary sources were collected simultaneously. The analysis of the data wasongoing during the entire research process and progress was presented at conferencesin the host research countries where useful feedback was obtained.The researcher used Bereday's comparative methodology and, by taking afactor approach, insights were gained into the cultures and contexts affecting themediation of policy. The researcher hopes to add to comparative methodologicaltheory through the use of multiple cross-national studies. The insights gained from theresearch questions: how, if at all, do the factors and stakeholders identified affect themediation of policy, confirmed that this was indeed an area worthy of study. Theoutcomes, displayed in matrices in chapters 8 and 9, show that different combinationsof factors affect how policies are mediated by the stakeholders and indirect factorsinvolved in the immediate implementation of open enrolment policy. The cases alsoyielded idiosyncratic variants based on their particular educational histories andcurrent circumstances. However, similar features were noted in all three countries inrelation to enrolment issues. In brief, these were: increased political interaction at thelocal level; demographic changes on the rolls of high schools; de facto socialsegregation; differential funding mechanisms relating to enrolment; and differentattitudes to public education on the part of interest groups in each location; and thesignificance of regulated space. This area is ripe for research, and there is a call in theliterature for more in-depth analyses on such social interactions at the local level thataffect different policy outcomes. It is hoped that this study will contribute tounderstanding the factors at work, both direct and indirect, which mediate policy insuch a way that explain the potentially different outcomes of similar policies.

Type of Award:Dphil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:The digital copy of this thesis has been made available thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky

Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 2001Identifiers

Urn: uuid:36b5b5cc-8e09-4c31-9a54-083e1c824d67

Source identifier: 602335993 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: England Ireland United States Education Finance Cross-cultural evaluation Education and state Public schools Tiny URL: td:602335993


Author: Griffin, Catherine Rosarii. - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyDept. of Educational Studies - - - - Bibliographic Details I



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