Educational research governance politics: a critical discourse analysis of policy

Christopher Holligan*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Sociologists recognise research or other constructions of society are not neutral. Ideologically generated ‘fact’, or ‘findings’, can reproduce elite vested interest. There is a lacuna in our knowledge about educational research policy, including inherent ideological leanings, giving cause for concern about ‘findings’ that are congruent with research policy favoured methodological paradigms. It is argued in the article that the Scottish Government’s educational research policy in Scotland, called “A Research Strategy for Scottish Education” (2017), denies recognition of critical research and theoretical critique; instead, it offers communities precarious knowledge. This research policy bias will discourage political critique of the system, including different notions of research and education values. In tandem with this research conservativism the Scottish Government regularly outsources research projects to companies through competitive tendering. Through the application of a critical discourse methodology the article uncovers the assumptions present in the 2017 strategy. That analysis is triangulated against the alliances the Scottish Government has sought in pursuit of an education system that is evidence based and informed through ‘grey literature’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-344
Number of pages25
JournalJournal for Critical Education Policy Studies
Volume21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • education
  • capitalism
  • governance
  • grey literature
  • Scotland

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