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Lessons from the UK: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Evaluation Professor Bob Lingard, The University of Queensland


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Title: Lessons from the UK: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Evaluation Professor Bob Lingard, The University of Queensland

Lessons from the UK Curriculum, Pedagogy and
Evaluation Professor Bob Lingard, The University
of Queensland
  • Independent Schools Association Conference, 26
    May, 2009

Sociology of Curriculum
  • How a society selects, classifies, distributes,
    transmits and evaluates the educational knowledge
    it considers to be public, reflects both the
    distribution of power and the principles of
    social control. (Bernstein, 1971, p.47)
  • From this point of view, differences within and
    change in the organization, transmission and
    evaluation of educational knowledge should be a
    major area of sociological interest. (Bernstein,
    1971, p.47)
  • Formal educational knowledge can be considered
    to be realized through three message systems
    curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation. (Bernstein,
    1971, p.47)

Research Two Major Contributing Factors to
Student Learning and Achievement
  • Out of school SES background of students
    Bourdieu cultural capital and Coleman et al.
  • School teacher pedagogies Newmann and
    Associates (1996) authentic pedagogy improve
    academic outcomes Lingard et al. (2003)
    productive pedagogies improve academic and
    social outcomes.
  • School variance in student performance
    attributable to schools around 5-10,
    attributable to teacher classroom practices
    35-55 (Townsend, 2001119)

(No Transcript)
Policy Borrowing, Policy Learning
  • Comparative Education.
  • Beyond borrowing globalized policy discourses
    emergent global education policy community.
  • Human capital approach education (expressed as
    quality and quantity of human capital) central to
    national economic competitiveness related,
    growth of international comparative data on
    student performance (PISA and TIMSS).
  • Pursuit of this agenda different approaches
    Anglo-American versus Scandinavian, East Asian
    developmental state, Chinese market-socialism
  • Anglo-American neo-liberal approach through
    restructuring of the state, new
    accountabilities/audit culture, public/private
    partnerships, private finance initiatives, market
    reforms, parental choice, school improvement,
    focus on early years.
  • Soft policy convergence, but vernacular
    national responses.
  • Learning for educational leaders/teachers
    includes policy learning.

The UK
  • Need to disaggregate the UK post Blair (1997)
    devolved parliaments in Scotland and Wales,
    Scottish parliament more powerful than Welsh
    assembly, also Northern Ireland
    education/schooling a devolved power (always the
    case in some ways in Scotland)
  • Thus in relation to schooling, need to talk about
    England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
  • Scots England a negative reference society, also
    for Welsh strengthened with rise of Scottish
    Nationals and Plaid Cmyru case of Northern
  • The location of all, including the UK within
    Europe as well and the Lisbon Declaration, 2000
    goal, Europe as the strongest knowledge economy
    on the globe by 2010 EU educational indicators
    in relation to this and the rise of a European
    Educational Space, despite the subsidiarity

Scotland and England
  • Positives and negatives learning, warnings.
  • Positives mainly Scottish and negatives mainly
  • Respect amongst teachers and policy makers,
    particularly in Scotland, for the Queensland
    system of school-based, teacher moderated upper
    secondary assessment considerable knowledge and
    awareness of the New Basics and associated
  • In both - big policy push improving quality and
    quantity of education provided for all young
    people requires a focus on improving outcomes
    for young people from poor families (social
    justice purposes), all within a human capital

Comparison Schooling in Scotland and England
  • To summarise differences from England, there
    is a broader conceptualisation of educational
    purposes, a much less prescriptive take on
    curriculum and pedagogy, acceptance of the
    professional voice in policy-making (including
    the strong place of local authorities), and very
    little promotion of the parent as consumer. This
    follows directly from continued adherence to
    comprehensive organisation of schooling and to
    the principle of common provision that it
    represents. (Jenny Ozga, 2005, p.5)

  • 1696 Education Act worlds first Education Act
    by a national parliament a school in every
    parish, a fixed salary for the teacher and
    funding first literate society 1980s/90s no
    discourse of derision of teachers (cf England,
  • McCrone Report (Teaching Profession for the 21st
    Century, 2000) good salaries, high respect,
    preparation and correction time for primary
    teachers comparable to that of secondary teachers
    (22.5 hours contact for all teachers in all
    sectors per week).
  • Chartered Teacher approach university study
    linked to promotional position and high salary.
    Masters degree.
  • Scottish Qualification for Headship
    universitybased, Local Authority select
    candidates. Masters degree.
  • Comprehensive system, academic curriculum, still
    mixed ability teaching 4 in private sector
    constant for past 50 years (3 primary, 5
    secondary)(25 in Edinburgh).
  • Low between school variation in performance
    (primary) (PISA) similar to the Scandinavian
  • Structure diffuse, not centralised Scottish
    Executive Education Department (SEED) and 32
    Local Education Authorities HMIE Scottish
    Qualifications and Authority (SQA) (exams)
    Teaching and Learning Scotland (curriculum and
    syllabuses) General Teaching Council for
    Scotland (GTCS)(mutual recognition of Australian
    qualifications) The Educational Institute of
    Scotland (1847 first teacher union, 80

Scotland contd.
  • Policy documents and reforms seem to respect
    teacher professionalism and inclusion of the
    professional voice in education policy making
    e.g. A Curriculum for Excellence (successful
    learners, confident individuals, responsible
    citizens, effective contributors) and
    Assessment is for Learning (as, of, for
    learning) McCrone implementation.
  • Policy focus on those not in education,
    employment or training (NEET), Ambitious
  • England as a major reference society
    Scotlands negative other positive reference
    societies northern European social-democratic
  • No top-up fees in universities.
  • Applied Educational Research Scheme (AERS).

Lessons from Scotland
  • Status of teachers professional standing
    (history, Scottish Enlightenment)
  • Trust of teachers
  • Chartered Teachers Scottish Qualification for
  • Comprehensive schooling system (in government
    schools, school choice and market discourse by
    and large absent)
  • Academic curriculum
  • Inspection formative, supportive, improvement
    focused not punitive
  • Targeted equity approach NEET focus
  • Many layers of educational policy making
  • European rather than North American focus

  • Thatcher/Conservative education project
    1979-1997 discourses of derision of teachers
    attacked so-called provider-capture in
    education policy introduction of national
    testing, publication of test results (SATs) and
    public exam results (GCSE and A levels) and
    National League Tables, as part of creation of a
    quasi-market in schooling National Curriculum
    (Education Reform Act, 1988) weakened Local
    Authority input and strengthened central
    bureaucracy (DfES, now Department for Children,
    Schools and Families (DCSF)) school
    reform/improvement movement - improvement to be
    achieved through high stakes testing (new forms
    of accountability), league table, parental choice
    and competition between schools neo-liberal
  • Blair (1997-2007), Brown (2007-) built on and
    modified Conservative Project through Third Way
    discourses motivation positive re enhancing
    quantity and quality of schooling with social
    justice focus policy as numbers as part of audit
    culture and school improvement agenda huge
    investment in long term in infrastructure hybrid
    neo-liberal response.

  • Goals appropriate now better quality, enhanced
    retention and more equity, motivation good, but
    policies wont achieve desired goals.
  • English exceptionality, leading the world in the
    policy as numbers approach with consequent
    effects on teachers, their practices and
  • Engagement with Europe and OECD not as strong or
    as significant as in Scotland.
  • Look more to North America, across the Atlantic.

England structures and policies
  • Centralising control/power to DfES, DCSF
    weakening of LEAs strong OfSTED (Inspectorate,
    punitive linked to audit culture).
  • Headteachers as spearheads of reform (National
    College for School Leadership) develop
    excellent leadership to transform childrens
    achievement and well-being, receiving annually
    the targets from the DCSF.

Centralising power, audit culture and
deprofessionalising teachers
  • Steering at a distance through policy as numbers
    as part of the audit culture standards agenda
    driven by targets and school improvement focus.
  • Significance/effects of Standard Assessment Tests
    (SATS) linked to National Curriculum taken at end
    of Key Stage 1 (age 6/7 Yr2), Key Stage 2 (age
    11/Yr4) , Key Stage 3 (age 14/Yr 5/6) in English,
    Maths and Science on pedagogies, curriculum,
    teachers, students, streaming and rejection of
    mixed ability teaching.
  • Role of GCSE (the Gold Standard, number of A-Ds)
    and A levels as well in audit culture,
    accountability of schools triage approach.
  • Effects of this policy as numbers and target/test
    driven school improvement agenda
    de-professionalising of teachers transfer of
    authority from professional expertise to
    standardised testing instruments, thinning out of
    purposes of schooling, pressures on children and
    young people, teaching to the test, culture of
  • SATS scores and GCSE achievement up cf OECD PISA.
  • Policy focus on literacy and numeracy the
    Literacy Hour implies teacher pedagogies

The next stage in policy as numbers
  • Making Good Progress How can we help every child
    to make good progress at school? (DCSF, 2006)
    being trialed in 10 LEAs from 2007.
  • Concerned to develop even better ways to
    measure, assess, report and stimulate progress in
    our schools.(p.1)
  • It asks whether without compromising the
    framework of tests, targets and performance
    tables which have helped drive up standards so
    sharply over the past decade we could adapt the
    system to support a focus on progress as well as
    absolute attainment.(p.2)
  • If Making Good Progress became national policy
    target setting for schools would involve
    attainment and progress targets. Also a new
    individual student focus, blocks in progress
    funding support for individualised extra
    tuition/tutoring. (Sophisticated measures value
    added, contextual value added)
  • Reconstitution of Principals work and teachers
    work (individualised and personalised programmes
    for students new individualism)

Restructuring of DfES to Department of Children,
Schools and Families (DCSF)
  • Legislation Every Child Matters (2003), Children
    Act, 2004
  • Education reconstituted as a Childrens service
    working across home, childrens centres, early
    years provision, schools, extended schools and
  • This policy requires collaboration joined-up
    policy, joined-up professional practice,
    inter-agency and inter-professional working
    (social workers/teachers etc).
  • Conflicting policy goals parental choice, school
    competition as a way of improving outcomes versus
    collaboration/sharing etc.

Lessons from England
  • De-professionalisation of teachers through
    specificities of the audit-culture and policy as
  • Mistrust of teachers.
  • Policy in its reductive effects means schools
    cannot meet their policy goals.
  • Significance of inter-agency and
    inter-professional work.
  • Significance of the early years focus and school
    community relationships and post-compulsory and
    higher education agenda (School Leaving Age to be
    raised to 18 years by 2015).
  • Implications of privatisation/competition in
    government sector.
  • PISA understandings and other international
    comparative data extent of Gini coefficient
    (measure of inequality) and extent of
    differentiation of schooling provision linked to
    strong social class/school achievement
    correlations with school performance (Green et
    al., 2006)
  • English exceptionality should remain just that a
  • Warning watch the flows of policy
    entrepreneurs from Blair/Brown UK to Australia.

Finnish Model policy learning, not borrowing
  • Good schooling systems, that is, achieving high
    equity and high quality, Finland cf
    Anglo-American school reform model (high stakes
    testing, mistrust of teachers, improvement in
    test scores but).
  • Finnish schooling teachers high status for
    teachers, teachers well respected, reasonably
    well paid, highly qualified (Masters degrees),
    professional autonomy within frame of intelligent
  • No high stakes testing.
  • Pedagogies teacher centred, but also
    intellectually demanding.
  • Only government schools all attend the same
  • SES low Gini Coefficient of social inequality
    and ethnic homogeneity.

National Policy Developments
  • National level recognition of the research
    realities presented at the outset (SES background
    and teacher pedagogies), but also new
    accountabilities and testing.
  • NAPLAN Masters Report (2009) recommendations.
  • Need for test literacy, but
  • Most effective long term response for enhancing
    test outcomes enhanced quality of pedagogies,
    mediated through teacher professional learning
    communities and school leadership.

Negative Potentials in National Developments
  • Testing and accountability potential to forget
    social purposes and to reduce academic purposes
    to test scores results and improvement.
  • Accountability to give an account broader
    definition than test results and different
    directions of accountability (horizontal,

  • Policy learning must be aware of context, must
    recontextualise insights to local cultures,
    histories and politics.
  • Policy learning sometimes requires that we see
    developments elsewhere as warnings.
  • Julia Gillard, the federal Minister, has it
    correct, I think, when she says that
    socio-economic or social class variables
    (parental income, education, occupations,
    cultural capital, social capital, aspirations)
    and teacher practices (pedagogies) are the most
    significant determinants of student learning and
    outcomes from schooling. Correct but how ought we
    respond to that recognition? How ought the
    federal and state governments respond to that
    recognition in policy and funding terms? Some
    lessons from the UK, more from Scotland than
  • How will testing and accountability agenda work
    in relation to the broad policy mix and to
    national curriculum?

Must remember that old aphorism
  • data isnt information, information isnt
    knowledge and knowledge isnt wisdom

References Scotland
  • OECD (2007) Quality and Equity of Schooling in
    Scotland. Paris OECD.
  • Scottish Executive Education Department (2007)
    OECD Review of the Quality and Equity of
    Education Outcomes in Scotland Diagnostic
    Report. Edinburgh SEED.
  • Lingard, B. (2008) Scottish Education
    Reflections from an International Perspective in
    Tom Bryce and Walter Hume (3rd edit) (eds)
    Scottish Education. Edinburgh The University of
    Edinburgh Press.
  • Paterson, L. (2003) Scottish Education in the
    Twentieth Century. Edinburgh The University of
    Edinburgh Press.

References England/UK
  • Ball, S.J. (2007) Education plc Understanding
    private sector participation in public sector
    education. London Routledge.
  • Ball, S.J. (2008) The Education Debate. Bristol
    Policy Press.
  • Beckett, F. (2008) Will they ever learn? The
    Sats fiasco reveals all thats wrong headed about
    Labour education policy, The Guardian, July 18.
  • Lingard, B., Nixon, J. and Ranson, S. (2008)
    Remaking Education for a Globalized World
    Policy and Pedagogic Possibilities in Lingard,
    B., Nixon, J. and Ranson, S. (eds) Transforming
    Learning in Schools and Communities, London
    Continuum, pp.3-33.

  • Green, A., Preston, J. and Janmaat, J.G. (2006)
    Education, Equality and Social Cohesion A
    Comparative Analysis. Basingstoke Palgrave
  • Lingard, B., Hayes, D., Mills, M. and Christie,
    P. (2003) Leading Learning Making Hope Practical
    in Schools, Buckingham Open University Press.
  • Newmann, F. and Associates (1996) San Francisco
  • Townsend, T. (2001) Satan or Saviour? An
    Analysis of Two Decades of School Effectiveness
    Research, School Effectiveness and School
    Improvement, 12 (1) 115-129.
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