(Mis)understanding strategy as a ‘spectacular intervention’: a phenomenological reflection on the strategy orientations underpinning school improvement in England

Bates, A (2014) '(Mis)understanding strategy as a ‘spectacular intervention’: a phenomenological reflection on the strategy orientations underpinning school improvement in England.' Studies in Philosophy and Education, 33 (4). pp. 353-367. ISSN 0039-3746

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11217-013-9382-3

Abstract

The introduction of the ‘National Strategies’ for primary education in 1998, positioned ‘strategy’ as a powerful instrument for mobilising the school ‘workforce’ in England in the cause of continuous improvement. Government approaches to strategy formulation and enactment appear to reflect an instrumentalist orientation found in many mainstream strategic management publications. This paper reflects on how the strategic pursuit of quick, ‘spectacular’ gains may lead to the loss of ethics of care. Phenomenological insights into modes of being-in-the-world are drawn upon to suggest that a preoccupation with strategy and its accompanying ‘toolkit’ of targets, standards and inspections diminishes a deeper engagement with the meaning and purpose of education. Based on Heidegger’s premise that understanding is at the core of being human, it is posited that the concern with ‘spectacular’ outputs is both superficial and potentially de-humanising. At the root of strategic thinking and the resulting forgetfulness of being is the Cartesian dogma and its dualistic (mis)understandings.

Item Type: Article
Note:

A non-final version of this article is available at the URL below.

Keywords: strategy, school improvement, ethics of care, understanding, Heidegger
Divisions: School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11217-013-9382-3
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 13:59
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:57
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)