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The education debatePolicy and Politics in the Twenty-First Century$
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Stephen J. Ball

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349200

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349200.001.0001

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Introduction: education education education policy

Introduction: education education education policy

(p.1) Introduction: education education education policy
The education debate

Stephen J. Ball

Policy Press

This chapter discusses many of the policy ‘levers’ and ‘technologies’ that can be traced through the specifics of policy in other sectors of education (preschool, school, further education (FE) and lifelong learning, and higher education (HE). The chapter notes that its title is drawn from former Prime Minister Tony Blair's pre-election speech in 1996, which signaled a decisive repositioning of education onto the centre of the policy stage in England. It further notes that education has become a major political issue, a major focus of media attention, and the recipient of a constant stream of initiatives and interventions from government. The chapter emphasizes that the method and approach used in this book is that of ‘policy sociology’, where sociological concepts, ideas, and research are used as tools for making sense of policy.

Keywords:   policy levers, technologies, education, Tony Blair, England, policy sociology

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