Advertisement

The Politics of Educational Policy Change

  • Maxwell A. Aziabah
Chapter
Part of the Critical Studies of Education book series (CSOE, volume 7)

Abstract

The emergence in the early 1980s of the new institutional approaches in the study of institutional development and change and how they influence social and political outcomes have offered social scientists new perspectives in accounting for structural stability in institutional patterns. The new institutional theoretical paradigm offers analytic leverage in accounting for institutional stability and change. Educational policy in Ghana, with significant implication for institutional patterns, has undergone significant change since independence; such changes often geared towards making education more relevant to creative problem-solving in both local and international contexts. Also often of temporal significance is the concurrence of these changes with political regime change, a development consistent with the postulates of partisan theory. However, in spite of these policy changes, fundamental weakness such as dysfunctional outcomes in training regimes remain. A review of the current school system reveals a persistence of academic bias in secondary education, relegating technical and vocational education and training to the background. The current chapter thus sets the tone for a rigorous explication of educational policy change and institutional durability at the secondary/technical/vocational level of the education system in Ghana. This is achieved through the application of a historical institutionalism approach of path dependence augmented by the partisan thesis.

References

  1. Apusigah, A. A. (2003). Reforming education in Ghana: A critique of gender reform policies. Journal of Educational Development and Practice, 1(1), 125–146.Google Scholar
  2. Archer, M. S. (1979). Social origins of educational systems. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  3. Baum, M. A., & Lake, D. A. (2003). The political economy of growth: Democracy and human capital. American Journal of Political Science, 47(2), 333–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boafo-Arthur, K. (2007). A decade of liberalism in perspective. In K. Boafo-Arthur (Ed.), Ghana: One decade of the liberal state (pp. 1–20). London: Zed Books Ltd.Google Scholar
  5. Braybrooke, D., & Lindblom, C. E. (1963). A strategy of decision: Policy evaluation as a social process. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  6. Busemeyer, M. (2007). Determinants of public education spending in 21 OECD democracies, 1980–2001. Journal of European Public Policy, 14(4), 582–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Busemeyer, M., & Trampusch, C. (2011). Comparative political science and the study of education. British Journal of Political Science, 41, 413–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Castles, F. G. (1998). Comparative public policy: Patterns of Post-War transformation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  9. Chitty, C. (2004). Education policy in Britain. New York: Pelgrave McMillan.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education (6th ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Dobbins, M., & Busemeyer, M. (2014). Socio-economic institutions, organised interests and partisan politics: The development of vocational education in Denmark and Sweden. Socio-Economic Review, 2014, 1–32.Google Scholar
  13. Ebbinghaus, B. (2009). Can path dependence explain institutional change? Two approaches applied to welfare state reform. In L. Magnusson & J. Ottosson (Eds.), The evolution of path dependence (pp. 191–212). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  14. Edelstein, B., & Nikolai, R. (2013). Structural determinants in Germany’s secondary school system: Determinants of school reform policy in Saxony and Hamburg. Paper presented at the 1st international conference on public policy, Grenoble (June 26–28).Google Scholar
  15. Fioretos, O., Falleti, T., & Sheingate, A. (2016). Historical institutionalism in political science. In O. Fioretos, T. Falleti, & A. Sheingate (Eds.), Oxford handbook of historical institutionalism (1st ed., pp. 1–37). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Flyvbjerg, B. (2004). Five misunderstandings about sase-study research. In C. Seale, G. Gobo, J. F. Gubrium, & D. Silverman (Eds.), Qualitative research practice (pp. 420–434). London/Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Foster, P. J. (1965a). Education and social change in Ghana. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  18. Foster, P. J. (1965b). The vocational school fallacy in development planning. In A. A. Anderson & M. J. Bowman (Eds.), Education and economic development. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  19. Gerring, J. (2004). What is a case study and what is it good for? American Political Science Review, 98(2), 341–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gerring, J. (2007). Case study research: Principles and practices. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gibbs, G. R. (2007). Analysing qualitative data. In U. Flick (Ed.), The Sage qualitative research kit. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  22. Goertz, G. (2005). Social science concepts: A user’s guide. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  23. GoG (Government of Ghana). (2002). Meeting the challenges of education in the twenty first century: Report of the President’s committee on review of education reforms in Ghana. Accra: Adwinsa Publications.Google Scholar
  24. GoG. (2004). Draft TVET policy framework for Ghana. Accra: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  25. GoG. (2010). Education strategic plan 2010–2020. Accra: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  26. GoG. (2013). Education sector performance report. Accra: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  27. Hall, P. A., & Taylor, R. C. (1996). Political science and the three new institutionalisms. Political Studies, 44, 936–957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Heidenheimer, A. J. (1981). Education and social security entitlements in Europe and America. In P. Flora & A. J. Heidenheimer (Eds.), The development of welfare states in Europe and America (pp. 269–304). New Brunswick: Transaction Books.Google Scholar
  29. Hibbs, D. A. (1992). Partisan theory after fifteen years. European Journal of Political Economy, 8, 361–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jakobi, A. P., Martens, K., & Wolf, K. D. (Eds.). (2009). Education in political science: discovering a neglected field. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Jones, D. B., & Baumgartner, R. F. (2005). A model of choice for public policy. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 15(3), 325–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kogan, M. (1975). Educational policy-making: A study of interest groups and parliament. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.Google Scholar
  33. Lamping, W., & Rueb, F. (2008). Introduction: Moving bulky goods. How new ideas and partisan politics are transforming the German welfare state. German Policy Studies, 4(2), 1–18.Google Scholar
  34. Lawson, S. (1993). Conceptual issues in the comparative study of regime change and democratisation. Comparative Politics, 25(22), 183–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mahoney, J. (2000). Path dependence in historical sociology. Theory and Society, 29(4), 507–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mahoney, J. (2001). The legacies of liberalism: Path dependence and political regimes in Central America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Mahoney, J., & Goertz, G. (2006). A tale of two cultures: Contrasting quantitative and qualitative research. Political Analysis, 14, 227–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mahoney, J., & Thelen, K. (2010). A theory of gradual institutional change. In J. Mahoney & K. Thelen (Eds.), Explaining institutional change: Ambiguity, agency and power (pp. 1–37). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Martens, K., Balzer, C., Sackmann, R., & Weymann, A. (2004). Comparing governance of international organisations – The EU, the OECD and educational policy (TranState Working Paper 7). Bremen Sfb 597. Available at: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/28257/1/497810247.PDF
  40. McWilliam, H. O. A., & Kwamena-Poh, M. A. (1975). The development of education in Ghana: An outline (2nd ed.). London: Longman.Google Scholar
  41. Mehta, J. (2013). How paradigms create politics: The transformation of American educational policy, 1980–2001. American Educational Research Journal, 50(2), 285–324.  https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831212471417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, M. A. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: A sourcebook of new methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  43. Pierson, P. (2000). Increasing returns, path dependence, and the study of politics. American Political Science Review, 94(2), 251–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Przeworski, A. (2011). Democracy and the limits of self-government. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Quist, H. O. (1999). Secondary education in Ghana at the Dawn of the twenty-first century: Profile, problems, prospects. Prospects, XXIX(3), 425–442.Google Scholar
  46. Quist, H. O. (2003). Transferred and adapted models of secondary education in Ghana: What implications for national development? International Review of Education/Internationale Zeitschrift fürErziehungswissenschaft/Revue Internationale de l’Education, 49(5), 411–431.Google Scholar
  47. Ragin, C. C. (1987). The comparative method: Moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  48. Ringer, F. K. (1979). Education and society in modern Europe. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Sartori, G. (1970). Concept misformation in comparative politics. The American Political Science Review, 64(4), 1033–1053.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Scadding, H. (1989). Junior secondary schools – An educational initiative in Ghana. Compare, 19(1), 43–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schmidt, M. G. (1996). When parties matter: A review of the possibilities and limits of partisan influence on public policy. European Journal of Political Research, 30, 155–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schmidt, M. G. (2007). Testing the retrenchment hypothesis: Educational spending, 1960–2002. In F. G. Castles (Ed.), The disappearing state? Retrenchment realities in an age of globalisation (pp. 159–183). Cheltenham: Gloucs Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  53. Schreier, M. (2012). Qualitative content analysis in practice (1st ed.). London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  54. Scott, J. (1990). A matter of record. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  55. Seawright, J., & Collier, D. (2010). Glossary. In H. E. Brady & D. Collier (Eds.), Rethinking social inquiry: Diverse tools, shared standards (pp. 313–359). Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  56. Stasavage, D. (2005). Democracy and education spending in Africa. American Journal of Political Science, 49(2), 343–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Steiner-Khamsi, G., & Quist, H. O. (2000). The politics of educational borrowing: Reopening the case of Achimota in British Ghana. Comparative Education Review, 44(3), 272–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Thelen, K. (1999). Historical institutionalism in comparative politics. Annual Review of Political Science, 2, 369–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Thelen, K. (2003). How institutions evolve: Insights from comparative historical analysis. In J. Mahoney & D. Rueschemeyer (Eds.), Comparative historical analysis in the social sciences (pp. 208–240). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Thelen, K. (2004). How institutions evolve: The political economy of skills in Germany, Britain, the United States and Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Thelen, K., & Kume, I. (1999). The rise of nonmarket training regimes: Germany and Japan compared. Journal of Japanese Studies, 25, 33–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tonah, S. (2009). The unending cycle of education reform in Ghana. Journal of Educational Research in Africa, 1(1), 45–52.Google Scholar
  63. UNESCO. (2000). Dakar framework for action: Education for all – Meeting our collective commitments. Retrieved from Paris: www.unesco.org/education/efa/wef_2000/
  64. World Bank. (2011). Ghana skills and technology development project (59529-GH). Accra: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  65. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxwell A. Aziabah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community DevelopmentUniversity for Development StudiesTamaleGhana

Personalised recommendations