Discourse analysis as theory, method, and epistemology in studies of education policy

Katherine Anderson, Jessica Holloway

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Discourse has featured in studies of educational policy as an analytic and methodological tool, theoretical frame, realm of implication, and even a foundational definition of educational policy itself (e.g.) Despite the centrality of discourse as a frame for exploring educational policy and its implications, the ways that discourse is defined or operationalized in educational policy research are often left implicit which can lead to murky relations to larger onto-epistemological questions of how we construct findings from data as well as the nature of policy. In this interpretive analysis, we synthesize a corpus of 37 peer-reviewed journal articles that bring together educational policy and analyses of discourse from varying theoretical and methodological perspectives in order to better understand the breadth and scope of how discourse is defined and operationalized in studies of educational policy, including in ways that are sometimes incommensurate with authors' stated theoretical and methodological positions. After first laying the theoretical groundwork for analyses of discourse in the field of educational policy, we then illustrate how discourse analysis is used differently, and sometimes inconsistently, within contested paradigmatic landscapes. We conclude with an argument for discussions across theoretical frameworks and methodological paradigms about how the concept of discourse lends itself to different epistemological vantage points on educational policy.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalJournal of Education Policy
    DOIs
    StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

    Fingerprint

    educational policy
    discourse analysis
    epistemology
    discourse
    education
    paradigm

    Keywords

    • critical discourse analysis
    • Discourse
    • methodology
    • paradigm
    • post-structuralism

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education

    Cite this

    Discourse analysis as theory, method, and epistemology in studies of education policy. / Anderson, Katherine; Holloway, Jessica.

    In: Journal of Education Policy, 01.01.2018.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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