Toward authentic participation: Deconstructing the discourses of participatory reforms in education

Gary Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Current educational reforms in the U.S. contain a pervasive discourse of participation. Although calls for participation of teachers, students, parents, communities, business, and numerous other stakeholders in schools are central to most reforms, there is increasing evidence that much participatory reform is either bogus, superficial, or ineffective (Beare, 1993; Hargreaves, 1994; Malen & Ogawa, 1988; Smyth, 1993). In this article, I discuss the various influences on the discourse of participation and the ways it is currently being promoted and implemented by diverse constituencies. More specifically, I analyze (a) how participation becomes a form of public relations to create greater institutional legitimacy for current educational practices, (b) how participation mechanisms, viewed as disciplinary practices, become more sophisticated technologies of control, (c) how structures set up for greater participation often become sites for collusion, and (d) how movements promoting parental school choice in an educational marketplace are framed as providing greater parental participation. Finally, in an effort to sort out these issues and move toward more authentic forms of participation, a conceptual framework guided by five fundamental questions that orient participation efforts will be provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-603
Number of pages33
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Volume35
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1998

Fingerprint

reform
participation
discourse
education
school choice
educational reform
educational practice
student teacher
legitimacy
parents
stakeholder
school
community
evidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

Toward authentic participation : Deconstructing the discourses of participatory reforms in education. / Anderson, Gary.

In: American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4, 12.1998, p. 571-603.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3d77c6ded586409785eafb230524a855,
title = "Toward authentic participation: Deconstructing the discourses of participatory reforms in education",
abstract = "Current educational reforms in the U.S. contain a pervasive discourse of participation. Although calls for participation of teachers, students, parents, communities, business, and numerous other stakeholders in schools are central to most reforms, there is increasing evidence that much participatory reform is either bogus, superficial, or ineffective (Beare, 1993; Hargreaves, 1994; Malen & Ogawa, 1988; Smyth, 1993). In this article, I discuss the various influences on the discourse of participation and the ways it is currently being promoted and implemented by diverse constituencies. More specifically, I analyze (a) how participation becomes a form of public relations to create greater institutional legitimacy for current educational practices, (b) how participation mechanisms, viewed as disciplinary practices, become more sophisticated technologies of control, (c) how structures set up for greater participation often become sites for collusion, and (d) how movements promoting parental school choice in an educational marketplace are framed as providing greater parental participation. Finally, in an effort to sort out these issues and move toward more authentic forms of participation, a conceptual framework guided by five fundamental questions that orient participation efforts will be provided.",
author = "Gary Anderson",
year = "1998",
month = "12",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "35",
pages = "571--603",
journal = "American Educational Research Journal",
issn = "0002-8312",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Toward authentic participation

T2 - Deconstructing the discourses of participatory reforms in education

AU - Anderson, Gary

PY - 1998/12

Y1 - 1998/12

N2 - Current educational reforms in the U.S. contain a pervasive discourse of participation. Although calls for participation of teachers, students, parents, communities, business, and numerous other stakeholders in schools are central to most reforms, there is increasing evidence that much participatory reform is either bogus, superficial, or ineffective (Beare, 1993; Hargreaves, 1994; Malen & Ogawa, 1988; Smyth, 1993). In this article, I discuss the various influences on the discourse of participation and the ways it is currently being promoted and implemented by diverse constituencies. More specifically, I analyze (a) how participation becomes a form of public relations to create greater institutional legitimacy for current educational practices, (b) how participation mechanisms, viewed as disciplinary practices, become more sophisticated technologies of control, (c) how structures set up for greater participation often become sites for collusion, and (d) how movements promoting parental school choice in an educational marketplace are framed as providing greater parental participation. Finally, in an effort to sort out these issues and move toward more authentic forms of participation, a conceptual framework guided by five fundamental questions that orient participation efforts will be provided.

AB - Current educational reforms in the U.S. contain a pervasive discourse of participation. Although calls for participation of teachers, students, parents, communities, business, and numerous other stakeholders in schools are central to most reforms, there is increasing evidence that much participatory reform is either bogus, superficial, or ineffective (Beare, 1993; Hargreaves, 1994; Malen & Ogawa, 1988; Smyth, 1993). In this article, I discuss the various influences on the discourse of participation and the ways it is currently being promoted and implemented by diverse constituencies. More specifically, I analyze (a) how participation becomes a form of public relations to create greater institutional legitimacy for current educational practices, (b) how participation mechanisms, viewed as disciplinary practices, become more sophisticated technologies of control, (c) how structures set up for greater participation often become sites for collusion, and (d) how movements promoting parental school choice in an educational marketplace are framed as providing greater parental participation. Finally, in an effort to sort out these issues and move toward more authentic forms of participation, a conceptual framework guided by five fundamental questions that orient participation efforts will be provided.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0032260084&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0032260084&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 35

SP - 571

EP - 603

JO - American Educational Research Journal

JF - American Educational Research Journal

SN - 0002-8312

IS - 4

ER -