'Local Area Education Planning'-Policy Planning and Practice
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AbstractThis paper presents the beginning of an analysis of the Education Department of Western Australia'sLocal Area Education Planning (LAEP) Framework, which has involved school amalgamations,closures and sometimes the emergence of middle schools. Policy making is an intrinsically politicalactivity; a way by which governments prescribe social change. At the micro level of policyimplementation it is likely to be sharply contested as agents (administrators, teachers, parents andstudents) struggle to understand and influence the changes in progress. This paper is an analysis ofwhat individuals and groups have 'done' with a top-down macro-level policy. The challenge is toreveal the messiness and the complexities of policy in practice, with a particular emphasis on theperspectives of shldents involved in educational change.The research involved in-depth casc studies of two schools undergoing considerable educationalchange as the result of LAEP Framework. Data collection methods for this study involved focusgroup and semi-structured interviews with a number of student COhOlis, document analysis, staffinterviews and field notes. The initial findings point to significant tensions between the macro levelpolicy makers and the local agents involved in the policy implementation.
TypeRefereed Conference Paper