Alternative Approaches on Society, State, Educational Reform, and Educational Policy

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The main aim of this article is to describe and examine critically five issues that have been historically approached in a different way by critical theorists and functionalist researchers: a) the role of education and state in modern societies; b) the nature and goals of educational reform and its rhetoric; c) the reasons that would explain why some reforms become successful and why others fail; d) the concepts of policy, public policy and educational policy; and e) alternative trends in the process of development and implementation of educational policies. In order to see what elements and visions distinguish critical theory from the functionalist research tradition the article outlines initially the main assumptions guiding the critical and the functionalist tradition with particular emphasis to the former philosophical approach and then discusses the arguments and assumptions grounding both traditions in relation to the five subjects above mentioned.

Keywords: education reform; educational policy; society; the state

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Programa Interdisciplinario De Investigaciones En Educacion (Piie) Chile

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • Education and Society provides a forum, where teachers and scholars throughout the world, are able to evaluate current issues and problems in education and society from a balanced and comparative social, cultural and economic perspective.

    Education and Society, a fully refereed journal, is used by teachers, academics, research scholars, educational administrators and graduate students.
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