POLICY TRANSFER AND ISOMORPHISM: A CASE STUDY OF THE ENGLAND-CHINA MATHS TEACHER EXCHANGE

Simon Probert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Global policy transfer has become increasingly popular in recent years, and one recent example of such policy transfer is the England–China Teacher Exchange, which was initiated in 2014 with the explicit aim of raising attainment in maths in English primary schools by trialling concepts used in Shanghai schools, Shanghai rising to the top of the PISA rankings in 2009. However, as this paper will argue this is an overly simplistic attempt to transfer a policy between two wholly different contexts, the lack of success of the policy seen in the very limited impact on student attainment in the participating schools. Whilst such policy transfer has increasingly taken place in the context of isomorphism and global pressures to adopt policy from high performing education systems, it is argued that policy needs to be explicitly reconsidered in terms of the local context it is being imported into if it is to be embedded in an effective manner, as well as rooted firmly in research. It is also argued that the England–China Teacher Exchange reflects a broader ideological focus in coalition government policy on the marketisation of education alongside the PISA rankings, rather any wider consideration of how this particular policy would drive up standards.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Early online date28 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2021

Keywords

  • Isomorphism
  • Maths Teacher Exchange
  • PISA
  • Policy Transfer
  • Reference Society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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