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.
Programa Interdisciplinario De Investigaciones En Educacion (Piie) Chile
Publication date: January 1, 2006
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