Discursive Perspectives on Education Policy Implementation, Adaptation, and Learning
Call for Papers – Special Issue
Education researchers have studied the design, implementation, and impact of education policy. Much of the existing research has studied policy issues at a macro level (e.g., studying professional behaviors of teachers and administrators, descriptively examining program structures, etc.). This approach has been informed by contemporary understandings of education policy implementation
and analysis (Cibulka, 1995; Honig, 2006; Odden, 1991). McLaughlin (1987) noted that there have been two generations of education policy research – the first focused on policies and programs; and the second focused on policy and practice. We suggest that a third generation of research is needed to move us closer to an understanding of policy as demonstrated in education discourses. Recent research has fueled this research. Weatherly and Lipsky (1977) informed our current understanding by noting the central role that “street-level bureaucrats” play in shaping the implementation of special education policies. Honig (2003) revisited the salient role of front-line policy implementers in central offices. Research has also focused on “sensemaking” behaviors in understanding how educators think about the implementation of policy in their work (Spillane, 2006). While this work has helped us understand how policy is implemented and understood, much of this research has neglected discourses that reflect understandings of policy ideas.
While the landscape of discourse analysis is vast, researchers from a range of approaches hold that talk and text do not neutrally reflect the world, one’s identify, or social relations (Howarth, 2000). Rather, the discourse analyst presumes that language is always doing something with consequence (whether intended or not). In policy, such a methodological focus allows for the study of everyday
interactions; for instance, an analyst may look carefully at how teachers construct (through their talk) an understanding of accountability expectations within the context of their teaching practices, or the ways in which school leaders articulate conflicting constructions or descriptions of learning improvement needs across organizational contexts.
A particular aim of this special issue is to demonstrate the potential that discourse analytic approaches have for the study of education policy. We invite authors to submit manuscripts examining education policy using both micro-analytic traditions (e.g., conversation analysis, discursive psychology, etc.) and macro-analytic traditions (e.g., poststructural discourse analysis; critical discourse analysis) to discourse analysis. We are particularly interested in analyses that focus on the ways in which policy comes to be known, understood, or interpreted through formal and informal interactions, including: classroom talk, professional conversations, and public conversations
among and between policymakers and the media. We welcome submissions that are empirical, theoretical, and methodological in scope, as well as submissions connected to education and/or education-related settings. Further, we encourage scholars from both the United States and international contexts to contribute. See: http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/announcement/view/212
• Initial 500-1000 word manuscript proposals due by October 15, 2015 (send as a Word attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org);
• Notice sent to authors invited to submit a full manuscript by November 15, 2015;
• Submit full manuscripts by March 15, 2016 (upload to the EPAA manuscript system);
• Double blinded, peer review completed by May 20, 2016;
• Editorial decisions and revision requests sent to authors by June 1, 2016;
• Revised, final manuscripts due by July 15, 2016; and
• Scheduled special issue publication date of September 2016.
Jessica Nina Lester, Ph.D.
Indiana University, School of Education
Chad R Lochmiller, Ph.D. (corresponding editor)
Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Indiana University, School of Education
Rachael Gabriel, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut, Neag School of Education