School Effectiveness Research: an Ideological Commitment?

Philosophy of Education 33 (2):253-268 (1999)
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As the international momentum of the school effectiveness movement continues, its exponents remain largely impervious to criticism. This paper argues that while they may not readily align themselves with the individualistic aspects of Conservative social philosophy, their methodology necessarily secretes an atomised social ontology. The charge of ideological commitment rests on the fact that the essentially positivist epistemology employed by school effectiveness researchers presupposes an ontology of closed systems and atomistic events. Thus any notion of the structuring of lifeā€chances is automatically ruled out of court. The reciprocity of social ontology and methodology is explored in order to account for the myopia of the school effectiveness movement.
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