Is Small Beautiful? Policy-Making in Teacher Education in Scotland

Aug. 28, 2008

Source: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, Volume 14, Issue 4, August 2008 , pages 319 - 330

This article investigates the extent to which political devolution has influenced the nature of education policy-making in Scotland. The article uses initial teacher education and early professional development as a case. Pre-devolution studies of the policy community in Scotland stressed the close relationships between the various stakeholders and the inherent conservatism that sometimes appeared to ensue from this. It might be anticipated that the removal of formal responsibility for education from the UK government in London to the Scottish Executive in Edinburgh might have unsettled such 'cosiness' and also that the influence of New Labour approaches may be less prevalent in Scotland than in England.
Furthermore, professional discourses still tend to prevail, but this may be in part because the education professionals in Scotland continue to be trusted much more than their counterparts in England. The processes of change in Scotland appear to have been less radical and at a slower pace than in England; however, they have been achieved through a more consensual process and so in the long term are likely to be more embedded than those in England.

Updated: Feb. 12, 2009