Social context

The following readings specifically attempt to trace links between individual actions and the wider social context:

Whilst the following book has a specific focus on the intersection between gender and class it is also an excellent illustration of the interdependence between the individual and their social context:

For a readable analysis of modern British society, which illustrates aspects of this framework, see:

The following books explore the complex and changing relationships between the state and the processes and practices of education. Coffey emphasises the importance of educational experiences for the production of collective and individual biographies, while Smyth et al examine teachers’ work within the global economy.

The next group of suggestions are concerned with educational ideologies and reforms. If you wish to follow up the concept of ideology the following reading will help. It provides a very general introduction to a variety of themes relating to Education intended for a professional and non-professional audience and it contains a section on ideology in education in the UK.

Two new books present educational ideologies from an international perspective. The first is concerned with ideologies from a range of leading thinkers from around the world, particularly those that challenge current assumptions about school effectiveness. The second examines educational ideologies within intergovernmental organisations:

A classic text on educational ideology and curriculum, now in its 3rd ediition, is:

The best book to read to understand New Labour’s approach to education was written by Michael Barber, a close adviser to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair:

A collection of contributions from key policy thinkers explores the impact of education reforms in four years of Labour government:

Two books edited by Jim Docking provide an overview of education reforms:

Lawton examines Labour party educational ideology since 1900 in the following book:

Distinctions in each part of the UK are reviewed in:

Updated basic information is available from the annual review of Britain from the Office of National Statistics:

The issues are applied to primary education in:

General reviews which locate education and primary school practices within a social and historical context are:

and for Europe as a whole:

For Australia:

For the USA:

Keeping abreast of new developments and policies is a considerable challenge. However, there are a number of useful newspapers, magazines, journals and web sites for the UK:

Legal requirements have also been changing rapidly and access to reliable, accurate and regularly updated sources of information can be invaluable. The National Association for Headteachers and the National Union of Teachers supply such services for their members in the form of ring-binders of information. An independent resource for all teachers, with a quarterly update routine and dealing with all legislation, management, staffing, special educational needs and day-to-day issues which occur in schools, is:

In keeping with our emphasis on school cultures, defined as ‘sets of shared perspectives’, we offer a number of related suggestions for exploring and illustrating how school cultures, and sub cultures exist and how they operate:

Two books which focus particularly on school playground cultures are:

Taking a broader approach to school cultures, and the communities within which they are embedded, the following two books present analyses of cultural influences on school processes:

The following two chapters, both from the same book by Woodhead, Faulkner and Littleton, are recommended to readers interested in the growing field of 'cultural psychology':

A book by Gregory may help to expand your understanding of what it means for young children to enter a new language and culture in school:

Regarding the influence of educational resources, the following book discusses the effects of local management on the ways that schools have been managed and resourced since 1990:

Recent books on structural aspects of education are: