Education Policy and mental weakness: a response to a mental health crisis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Educationalists have been concerned with the labelling and treatment of children with mental health difficulties in the education system in England for some time (Timimi 2002; Rose 2005; Jull 2008, Cole 2015). These concerns have centred on the role of policy in ‘othering’ such students as deviant learners. The unprecedented number of children suffering from mental illnesses, has forced policymakers to address children’s mental health difficulties. This has involved the identification of a sub-set of the school population experiencing ‘less-severe’ mental health issues, to be addressed through a suite of policy interventions delivered by whole-school approaches, but targeted towards children situated as mentally ‘weak’. Drawing upon a Foucauldian theory of governmentality that addresses children’s behavioural motivations (Rose 1989; Millar and Rose 1990; Foucault 2001; 2008; Popkewitz 2012) an in-depth analysis of a number of educational policy initiatives related to mental health, is conducted, that it is argued are fundamentally flawed. This analysis is followed by a discussion of the performative culture of High Stakes Testing in contributing to children’s mental health difficulties. Here it is argued that a narrative of mental weakness serves to justify a neoliberal rationality towards the treatment of children for whom the performative logic assumed to motivate all learners, fails.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1 - 25
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Early online date1 Mar 2018
DOIs
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2018

Fingerprint

mental health
education
governmentality
number of children
educational policy
mental illness
school
education system
rationality
narrative
student

Keywords

  • Mental health, education policy, critical policy analysis, mental weakness

Cite this

Education Policy and mental weakness : a response to a mental health crisis. / Brown, Ceri; Carr, Sam.

In: Journal of Education Policy, 01.03.2018, p. 1 - 25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{c7754f026d354756a283c4416784f0f5,
title = "Education Policy and mental weakness: a response to a mental health crisis",
abstract = "Educationalists have been concerned with the labelling and treatment of children with mental health difficulties in the education system in England for some time (Timimi 2002; Rose 2005; Jull 2008, Cole 2015). These concerns have centred on the role of policy in ‘othering’ such students as deviant learners. The unprecedented number of children suffering from mental illnesses, has forced policymakers to address children’s mental health difficulties. This has involved the identification of a sub-set of the school population experiencing ‘less-severe’ mental health issues, to be addressed through a suite of policy interventions delivered by whole-school approaches, but targeted towards children situated as mentally ‘weak’. Drawing upon a Foucauldian theory of governmentality that addresses children’s behavioural motivations (Rose 1989; Millar and Rose 1990; Foucault 2001; 2008; Popkewitz 2012) an in-depth analysis of a number of educational policy initiatives related to mental health, is conducted, that it is argued are fundamentally flawed. This analysis is followed by a discussion of the performative culture of High Stakes Testing in contributing to children’s mental health difficulties. Here it is argued that a narrative of mental weakness serves to justify a neoliberal rationality towards the treatment of children for whom the performative logic assumed to motivate all learners, fails.",
keywords = "Mental health, education policy, critical policy analysis, mental weakness",
author = "Ceri Brown and Sam Carr",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/02680939.2018.1445293",
language = "English",
pages = "1 -- 25",
journal = "Journal of Education Policy",
issn = "0268-0939",
publisher = "Routledge",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Education Policy and mental weakness

T2 - Journal of Education Policy

AU - Brown,Ceri

AU - Carr,Sam

PY - 2018/3/1

Y1 - 2018/3/1

N2 - Educationalists have been concerned with the labelling and treatment of children with mental health difficulties in the education system in England for some time (Timimi 2002; Rose 2005; Jull 2008, Cole 2015). These concerns have centred on the role of policy in ‘othering’ such students as deviant learners. The unprecedented number of children suffering from mental illnesses, has forced policymakers to address children’s mental health difficulties. This has involved the identification of a sub-set of the school population experiencing ‘less-severe’ mental health issues, to be addressed through a suite of policy interventions delivered by whole-school approaches, but targeted towards children situated as mentally ‘weak’. Drawing upon a Foucauldian theory of governmentality that addresses children’s behavioural motivations (Rose 1989; Millar and Rose 1990; Foucault 2001; 2008; Popkewitz 2012) an in-depth analysis of a number of educational policy initiatives related to mental health, is conducted, that it is argued are fundamentally flawed. This analysis is followed by a discussion of the performative culture of High Stakes Testing in contributing to children’s mental health difficulties. Here it is argued that a narrative of mental weakness serves to justify a neoliberal rationality towards the treatment of children for whom the performative logic assumed to motivate all learners, fails.

AB - Educationalists have been concerned with the labelling and treatment of children with mental health difficulties in the education system in England for some time (Timimi 2002; Rose 2005; Jull 2008, Cole 2015). These concerns have centred on the role of policy in ‘othering’ such students as deviant learners. The unprecedented number of children suffering from mental illnesses, has forced policymakers to address children’s mental health difficulties. This has involved the identification of a sub-set of the school population experiencing ‘less-severe’ mental health issues, to be addressed through a suite of policy interventions delivered by whole-school approaches, but targeted towards children situated as mentally ‘weak’. Drawing upon a Foucauldian theory of governmentality that addresses children’s behavioural motivations (Rose 1989; Millar and Rose 1990; Foucault 2001; 2008; Popkewitz 2012) an in-depth analysis of a number of educational policy initiatives related to mental health, is conducted, that it is argued are fundamentally flawed. This analysis is followed by a discussion of the performative culture of High Stakes Testing in contributing to children’s mental health difficulties. Here it is argued that a narrative of mental weakness serves to justify a neoliberal rationality towards the treatment of children for whom the performative logic assumed to motivate all learners, fails.

KW - Mental health, education policy, critical policy analysis, mental weakness

UR - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02680939.2018.1445293

U2 - 10.1080/02680939.2018.1445293

DO - 10.1080/02680939.2018.1445293

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 25

JO - Journal of Education Policy

JF - Journal of Education Policy

SN - 0268-0939

ER -