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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Educational change in Scotland: Policy, context and biography
Author(s): Priestley, Mark
Miller, Kate
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Keywords: curriculum
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: Priestley M & Miller K (2012) Educational change in Scotland: Policy, context and biography, Curriculum Journal, 23 (1), pp. 99-116.
Abstract: The poor success rate of policy for curriculum change has been widely noted in the educational change literature. Part of the problem lies in the complexity of schools, as policymakers have proven unable to micromanage the multifarious range of factors that impact upon the implementation of policy. This paper draws upon empirical data from a local authority-led initiative to implement Scotland’s new national curriculum. It offers a set of conceptual tools derived from critical realism (particularly the work of Margaret Archer), which offer significant potential in allowing us to develop greater understanding of the complexities of educational change. Archer’s social theory developed as a means of explaining change and continuity in social settings. As schools and other educational institutions are complex social organisations, critical realism offers us epistemological tools for tracking the ebbs and flows of change cycles over time, presenting the means for mapping the multifarious networks and assemblages that form their basis.
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Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Published in Curriculum Journal by Taylor & Francis (Routledge).; This is an electronic version of an article published in The Curriculum Journal Vol. 23, No. 1, March 2012, 99–116. The Curriculum Journal is available online at:

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