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© 2017

Consultants and Consultancy: the Case of Education

Benefits

  • Is the first to examine the relationship between consultants and consultancy through an empirical and conceptual investigation in education

  • Speaks to wider social science debates about the relationship between the state, public policy and knowledge

  • Interconnects with education policy research and those who are interested in examining governance as a governing strategy by governments

Book

Part of the Educational Governance Research book series (EGTU, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Helen M. Gunter, Colin Mills
    Pages 1-15
  3. Consultants and Consultancy in Action

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-18
    2. Helen M. Gunter, Colin Mills
      Pages 19-31
    3. Helen M. Gunter, Colin Mills
      Pages 33-45
    4. Helen M. Gunter, Colin Mills
      Pages 47-58
  4. Consultants and Consultancy and Knowledge in Education Policy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 59-60
    2. Helen M. Gunter, Colin Mills
      Pages 61-74
    3. Helen M. Gunter, Colin Mills
      Pages 75-88
    4. Helen M. Gunter, Colin Mills
      Pages 89-104
    5. Helen M. Gunter, Colin Mills
      Pages 105-119
    6. Helen M. Gunter, Colin Mills
      Pages 121-136
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 137-160

About this book

Introduction

This book is a comprehensive study into and about consultants doing consultancy, and having influence in ways that generate concerns about an emerging ‘consultocracy’, with privileged access to governments and public services. It presents a detailed mapping of consultants and consultancy in education as a site of change and modernisation in public sector service provision. It considers consultancy at a macro-level of globalised policy, at a meso-level of national government policy, and at a micro level with vivid descriptions and analyses of consultants at work.

The rapid rise of ‘edubusinesses’, combined with the restructuring of public services in western style democracies, has generated new types of ‘knowledge actors’ within education policy. Three main developments that have led to this change are:  the entry of education policy and service consultants from within major companies into the public education market place; the emergence of ‘celebrity’ entrepreneurial actors and private businesses who make interventions into Universities and schools; and the rapid growth of small businesses based on individuals who have relocated their work from the public to the private sector. Such knowledge actors and the complexities they bring to public education are as yet under described and largely un-theorized. Based on current research and drawing upon a range of theoretical tools, this book fills the gap.

Gunter and Mills provide an invaluable contribution to scholarship on the neoliberal restructuring of public education by mapping and analyzing the under-examined yet central role of corporate education consultants. Their thoughtful and thorough discussion expands our understanding of how consultants promote and trade in the ideologies of corporate culture. Gunter and Mills show how consultants are integral to both knowledge making practices in schools and a radical reform agenda for schools in the UK and around the globe. This is an accessible and important volume for not just policy and politics scholars but anyone concerned about defending public forms of education and associated living at a moment when they are increasingly being positioned for pillage by profiteers.

Kenneth J. Saltman, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA

Keywords

public policy governance critical educational policy entrepreneurial knowledge actors edu business the state, public policy and knowledge consultants in schooling consultocracy knowledge politics knowledge regimes knowledge economies

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The Manchester Institute of EducationUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.The Manchester Institute of EducationUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Consultants and Consultancy: the Case of Education
  • Authors Helen M. Gunter
    Colin Mills
  • Series Title Educational Governance Research
  • Series Abbreviated Title Educational Governance Research
  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48879-0
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-48877-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-84037-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-48879-0
  • Series ISSN 2365-9548
  • Series E-ISSN 2365-9556
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 160
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Educational Policy and Politics
    Administration, Organization and Leadership
    Schools and Schooling
  • Buy this book on publisher's site

Reviews


“Expertise is always political, but takes a particular form with the rise of consultants in global and national policy fields. In Consultants and Consultancy - the case of education, Gunter and Mills provide a strong, empirically and theoretically informed account which unpacks this important phenomenon. It reveals a common approach among consultants of a 'policy entrepreneurial disposition'. But importantly, it also recognises the diversity of consultant types who seek to shape education policy and practice and moves towards imagining a post-neo-liberal strategy for public education. It is unique in the field of education research and policy and has a much wider relevance for those working in other fields of policy and politics, for the limits of consultancy are still a contested domain.” (Andrew Sturdy, University of Bristol, UK)

“Gunter and Mills provide an invaluable contribution to scholarship on the neoliberal restructuring of public education by mapping and analyzing the under-examined yet central role of corporate education consultants.  Their thoughtful and thorough discussion expands our understanding of how consultants promote and trade in the ideologies of corporate culture.  Gunter and Mills show how consultants are integral to both knowledge making practices in schools and a radical reform agenda for schools in the UK and around the globe.  This is an accessible and important volume for not just policy and politics scholars but anyone concerned about defending public forms of education and associated living at a moment when they are increasingly being positioned for pillage by profiteers.” (Kenneth J. Saltman, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA ) 

“Education policy-making is not the monopoly of the state anymore, but identifying and tracking the emerging agents and the invisible and volatile ties that constitute current education policy networks is challenging. In this volume, Gunter and Mills provide with very rich empirical data and with a thorough heuristic framework to understand and study the increasingly central role of consultants and consultancy relations in education reform complexes. A must read for those interested in the constantly changing relationship between the state and education.” (Antoni Verger, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain)

“Public education continues to undergo significant transformations characterized by a retreat of the state and the rise of educational markets. Gunter and Mills help readers understand the emergence of new policy actors and activities borne out of these transformations. The ascendance of educational consultants in teaching, leadership, and governance has significant implications for the purpose and functions of schooling. This vital book helps us to consider these ramifications through the voices of those most closely involved in reimagining and reshaping what counts as expertise in public education.” (Janelle Scott, University of California, Berkeley, USA)