Beyond Policy Implementation: Policy Sense Making and Policy Enactment in Schools

  • Author / Creator
    Riveros Barrera, Augusto
  • This thesis aims to answer the following question: How does an account of educational policy sense making from the perspective of embodiment inform our understanding of educational policy enactment? I start by describing a widespread phenomenon identified by educational policy analysts: A growing body of research has shown that a single policy can be put into practice in multiple, diverse, and sometimes contradictory ways. How is this possible? I argue that the traditional notion of policy implementation is insufficient to characterize these variations and I make use of the notion of policy enactment (Ball, Maguire & Braun, 2012) to argue that we require an account of policy that takes into account the contexts in which school actors transform and adapt the policy to their own practices. I argue that this multiplicity of practices is related to the ways in which school actors make sense of policy when they engage in embodied interactions with other policy actors and policy artefacts in their contexts of practice. I propose the notion of “embodied policy sense making” to explain the multiple ways in which policy is enacted in schools. My intention in this dissertation is to offer an account of what makes policy sense-making possible. I do not offer an account of what makes a particular understanding of a policy correct or incorrect, true or false, accurate or inaccurate. I offer an account of what are the conditions so a policy is made sense of by the school actors in their contexts of practice.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Theoretical, Cultural and International Studies in Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Robert Wilson (Department of Philosophy)
    • Dr. Brenda Spencer (Faculty of Education, University of Calgary)
    • Dr. Randolph Wimmer (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Dr. Paul Newton (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Dr. Patrick Renihan (Faculty of Education, University of Saskatchewan)