Parents, Gender and Education Reform

Parents, Gender and Education Reform

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This book provides a detailed review of the complex relations between families and schools in the context of changing family structures and educational policies.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 268 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 15mm | 398g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0745606377
  • 9780745606378

Back cover copy

In Britain, as in other advanced industrial societies, such as theUS, education is high on the public policy agenda. The concern isabout how to maintain and improve educational standards. The rightaims to give more power to parents as consumers in the educationmarket-place, on the ostensible grounds of demanding bettereducational standards for their own children. The left aims toinvolve parents in educational processes in order to make schoolingmore effective.

This book reviews the evidence that has been amassed over thelast 40 to 50 years in order to evaluate these two sets of claimsabout how to improve educational provision. Various public policystrategies have been pursued to develop schooling in conjunctionwith families. Social scientists have been involved in evaluatingrecent education reforms, especially over parental choice andinvolvement.

The book also reviews the effects that changing familystructures, such as the growth of lone-parent families and maternalemployment, have on educational opportunities and performance. Itconsiders the impacts on both children and parents, especiallymothers. It concludes with a consideration of the future ofeducation reforms in the light of changing family structures andasks whether social and sexual inequalities are likely to beexacerbated by current trends.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements. 1. Introduction: Parents, Education Reforms and Social Research. 2. The Family Policy Context: The War over the Family and Family Life Changes: 1944--1992. 3. The Education Policy Context: The Idea of a 'Meritocracya from 1944--1976. 4. The Education Policy Context: The Idea of a 'Parentocracya from 1976--1992. 5. Parents and Education: The Social Democractic Reformer--Researcher Partnersip over Equal Opportunities. 6. A Parental 'Voicea in Education as Community, or Consumer, Involvement?. 7. Parental or Family Choice of School, or of Education. 8. Parental Involvement for School Effectiveness or Home Improvement?. 9. Mothers in Education, or Muma s the Word?. 10. Debating the Effects of Family Changes and Circumstances on Childrena s Education. 11. Conclusions: Family Changes, Social Research and Education Reforms. Bibliography. Index. Index of Authors.
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Review quote

a Parents now play a more central part in educational policy through their role as parent governors in schools. But despite this, policy, or indeed assumptions about the ways in which schools should operate, are not based on a realistic view of the lives of mothers and fathers or on the ways in which family life has changed in recent years. Miriam David argues convincingly that we cannot sensibly discuss schooling without taking account of what goes on in the home. This book breaks new ground in its analysis of the relationship of home and school and is essential reading for anyone concerned with children, education or parenthood.a Martin Richards, Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge a This is a timely and thorough review of changes in party political positions, policy approaches and the preoccupations of social science research regarding education that enables us to appreciate the magnitude of the 1980s changes, particularly in respect of the shifting meaning of the partnership between home and school.a Jane Lewis, The London School of Economics and Political Science a A timely and interesting book.a Political Studies a David provides a good summary of family change in recent decades together with a balanced and comprehensive account of educational policy.a Social Policy
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About Miriam David

Miriam David is Director of the Social Sciences Research Centre and Head of Research in Legal, Political and Social Sciences in the Business School at the South Bank University.
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