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‘Scaling up’ educational change: some musings on misrecognition and doxic challenges

Thomson, Pat


Pat Thomson


Educational policy-makers around the world are strongly committed to the notion of ‘scaling up’. This can mean anything from encouraging more teachers to take up a pedagogical innovation, all the way through to system-wide efforts to implement ‘what works’ across all schools. In this paper, I use Bourdieu’s notions of misrecognition to consider the current orthodoxies of scaling up. I argue that the focus on ‘process’ and ‘implementation problems’: (1) both obscures and legitimates the ways in which the field logics of practice actually work and, (2) produces/reproduces the inequitable distribution of educational benefits (capitals and life opportunities). I suggest that the notion of misrecognition might provide a useful lens through which to examine reform initiatives and explanations of their success/failure.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 26, 2014
Journal Critical Studies in Education
Print ISSN 1750-8487
Electronic ISSN 1750-8495
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 55
Issue 2
Institution Citation Thomson, P. (2014). ‘Scaling up’ educational change: some musings on misrecognition and doxic challenges. Critical Studies in Education, 55(2), doi:10.1080/17508487.2014.863221
Keywords Bourdieu, educational leadership and management, educational policy, inclusive education, special education
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Critical Studies in Education on 26 Feb 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline....80/17508487.2014.863221


final revisions to scaling up_November.pdf (393 Kb)

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