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The impacts of education policy under the microscope

The impacts of education policy under the microscope

As Victoria University’s 2011 JD Stout Fellow, Cathy Wylie will have the opportunity to share 24 years of educational policy research with the rest of New Zealand.

Dr Wylie is looking forward to spending the next year writing a book on the impacts of educational policy to share her research findings with parents, teachers and policymakers.

“For some time there has been the need for a book that would bring together what we know about children’s engagement with learning and achievement, and about how well we are offering these learning opportunities in our schools,” Dr Wylie says.

“The public need to understand some of the issues facing our system today. In the past we have seen people talk superficially about education, and we have seen a lot of that in the debate about national standards, without understanding the complexities around it.”

Another example cited by Dr Wylie is the impact of Tomorrow’s Schools, a policy which shifted responsibility for managing schools from Education Boards to individual school boards. “No other country has done that and nobody knew what the impacts would be.”

“This fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to think deeply about these things, examine the different pieces of the puzzle and write a book that is accessible to a wide audience.”

While the book is yet to be named, its working title, Education Policy in New Zealand: The ground we stand on or the wall we face?, provides an insight into its future contents.

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Dr Wylie is currently a Chief Researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research and will take up the one year fellowship at the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies in March 2011. She is no stranger to Victoria University, having studied here before becoming a lecturer in social anthropology.

The JD Stout Fellowship was created to foster research in New Zealand society, history and culture by providing the Fellow with an opportunity to work within an academic environment for the year of tenure. It is funded by the Stout Trust, which is managed by the Guardian Trust and administered by the Victoria University Foundation.

ENDS

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