Ambiguous Citizenship: Democratic practices and school governing bodies

PhD Thesis


Young, H (2014). Ambiguous Citizenship: Democratic practices and school governing bodies. PhD Thesis University of London Institute of Education
AuthorsYoung, H
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

School governing bodies in England have considerable formal powers and
responsibilities. This qualitative research study explored their concrete practices
drawing on understandings of deliberative democracy and citizenship as
sensitising concepts. The empirical research was broadly ethnographic and
took place in two primary and two secondary maintained schools. Data was
generated primarily from interviews and observations.
Considering school governors from the perspectives of deliberative democracy
and citizenship draws attention to ambivalences and ambiguities in their role.
These ambivalences and ambiguities cover issues of agency, representation,
exclusion, knowledge and a singular conception of a ‘common good’. Firstly,
despite their busy-ness, governors are largely passive in relation to decision
making and dissensus can be socially awkward. Consensus is underpinned by
a singular conception of the ‘common good’. Secondly, the voices of certain
governors are marginalised. Some governors are positioned as representatives
and their constitution as partial masks the partiality of all governors. Thirdly,
there are ambiguities in relation to the valuing of different knowledges.
Educational knowledge is valued but also inflected by managerial knowledge.
The policy emphasis on the value of managerial knowledge and measurable
data tends to displace other possible ‘lay’ knowledges. Fourthly, education and
governing are constituted as apolitical and there is limited discussion of
educational aims, principles and values. In all this, despite policy describing
governors as ‘strategic’, their work is largely technical and operates within a
constrained national performative system that renders alternative conceptions
of ‘good’ education unsayable or unthinkable.
These ambivalences and ambiguities operate, together with a dominant
discourse of skills and effectiveness, to obscure possibilities for thinking
otherwise about education.

Year2014
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Web address (URL)http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/10021646/
Publication dates
Print2014
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Jun 2019
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8789z

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Related outputs

Podcast with Prof Helen Gunter about ''Knowledge, Experts and Accountability in School Governing Bodies"
Young, H (2017). Podcast with Prof Helen Gunter about ''Knowledge, Experts and Accountability in School Governing Bodies". Sage Education.
Knowledge, Experts and Accountability in School Governing Bodies
Young, H (2018). Knowledge, Experts and Accountability in School Governing Bodies. BELMAS Annual Conference: Education Policy and Sustainability: global perspectives from the field of educational leadership. Windsor 06 - 08 Jul 2018 BELMAS.
Student Voice in Higher Education: Opening the Loop
Young, H (2018). Student Voice in Higher Education: Opening the Loop. 38' Coloquio Interdisciplinario de Educación. Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile 12 Sep 2018
Questioning Education
Young, H and Shah, H (2008). Questioning Education. London DEA.
What do ‘skills’ mean for school governing bodies? [blog post]
Young, H (2016). What do ‘skills’ mean for school governing bodies? [blog post]. British Educational Research Association.
Book review of 'Privatisation, Education and Social Justice', edited by Geoffrey Walford
Young, H (2016). Book review of 'Privatisation, Education and Social Justice', edited by Geoffrey Walford. London Review of Education. 14 (3), pp. 101-102.
Asking the ‘right’ questions: the constitution of school governing bodies as apolitical
Young, H (2015). Asking the ‘right’ questions: the constitution of school governing bodies as apolitical. Journal of Education Policy. 31 (2), pp. 161 - 177.
Knowledge, Experts and Accountability in School Governing Bodies
Young, H (2015). Knowledge, Experts and Accountability in School Governing Bodies. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. 45 (1), pp. 40-56.
Busy yet passive: (non-)decision making in school governing bodies
Young, H (2016). Busy yet passive: (non-)decision making in school governing bodies. British Journal of Sociology of Education.