Policy Development and Models

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‘Policies embody claims to speak with authority, they legitimate and initiate practices in the world, and they privilege certain visions and interests’ Ball (1990; p22). There is a vast number of definitions for what is a policy as the word varies over different disciplines. According to the literature policy means a plan of action, or a statement of aims or ideals. Ball (1994a; p10), states that “policy is text and action, words and deeds, it is enacted as well as what is intended”. Based on my readings I believe that a policy is a statement of beliefs, goals, objectives and recommendations on a specific issue. I agree with Bowe and Ball when they say policy has lots of defining characteristics which include it being more that text; meaning it is more than the written document which is presented to the user but constitutes the process through which it has gone to become the specific document or even the end product of what the document was to achieve. Policy is multi-dimensional allowing operations to take place at different spheres or levels for example operations at the Ministry of Education, the school and the community to come together to form one document. It involves a multiplicity of activities taking place simultaneously and also involves a number of persons including all stakeholders’ parents, teachers, students, businessmen, ministry officials and sometimes foreign resource personnel. Policy is value laden; in respect of taking into consideration our context, and reflect some core values when being developed. Policy is also considered to be a state activity and inter-textual meaning it is normally controlled by the state and in the case of education all its activities are controlled by the state as this helps in the maintenance of the status quo. Inter-textual meaning no one policy is created to stand alone as while developing the need for other policies may arise and this helps to determine success. Policy development is difficult and time...
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