Issues Affecting Contemporary Education Policy

The educational system of any country has developed in accordance with cultural, economic, political, and social peculiarities of the region. Policy-makers come up with numerous incentives and policies aimed at aligning the existing educational system with the challenges of the contemporary society. It is necessary to note that various factors have an impact on the contemporary education policies. This paper includes a brief analysis of the major factors affecting the development of new education policies in the contemporary society.

Clearly, the challenges of new times make people reconsider the role of education as well as its primary goals. For instance, Ball (2013) notes that the sphere of education has become a target of numerous changes throughout the past two decades. The educational sphere can be characterized by a significant degree of hyper-activism, which has manifold implications (Ball, 2013). For instance, the contemporary UK educational system aims at making young people prepared for a smooth transition to a career path.

Thus, the country is in need of professionals who have certain skills and knowledge in specific spheres. Globalization has also had a significant influence on the development of education policies. Thus, experiences of other countries are often taken into account when developing and implementing various education policies. Phillips and Ochs (2004) identify four major stages of this process that include “cross-national attraction, decision, implementation, and internalization/indigenization” (p. 773).

This approach is also illustrative in terms of another factor affecting education policies. Apple (2000) stresses that ideologies have a profound impact on the development of the educational system as well as education policies. The author stresses that dominating groups often shape the existing ideology, which has an effect on the development and implementation of education policies. Sorensen and Torfing (2005) claim that policies often result from the interaction of private, public and semi-public actors, but dominant groups have more power and often shape the policies implemented.

It is also possible to note that the beliefs on the distribution of power that are closely linked to the existing ideologies can also be regarded as factors influencing the development of policies. Ball, Maguire, Braun and Hoskins (2011) note that such stakeholders as teachers and policy-makers have different attitudes towards policies. Prescriptive policies that are associated with rigid recommendations are often negatively accepted while more flexible policies are welcomed by educators and many policy-makers. At present, it is believed that educators can evaluate the effectiveness of the policy and adjust it to their specific community and classrooms. 

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