Since the second edition of this book, the education debate has fiercened. Education policy must ensure economic productivity and competitiveness, but in recent years, debates about its contribution to the worsening of social inequality, particularly in relation to grammar schools, have become increasingly divisive.
Ever-changing, stuttering policy can make this a field that's hard to keep track of... a problem that this book solves.
Along with extensive updates, this third edition includes a new introduction and updated examples and references throughout. Ball examines new areas of focus, including the emphasis on neuroscience, the increased interest of business in education and the impact of austerity and precarity.
Unlike so many other books on education policy, The education debate doesn't simply describe education policy, but captures key debates and themes in this fast-changing field.
"Stephen Ball is one of the few academics who can embrace policy, research and learning with a fierce and illuminating critical spirit." Richard Andrews, University of East Anglia
"This must-read book is forensic in its analysis and points to the imperative for new thinking on education." Hugh Lauder, University of Bath
"This invaluable new edition of this powerful and provocative book offers fresh insights into political context and policy narratives." Phillip Brown, Cardiff University
"Informative, wise and angry in equal measure about the continued injustices meted out to students in the guise of 'progress', 'what works' and equity." Pat Thomson, University of Nottingham
"My students need a book that introduces them to policy analysis in a rigorous yet accessible manner; this is it." Meg Maguire, King’s College London
"Policy researchers are deeply indebted to Ball’s detailed analysis that underpins the sociological contribution in this book." Helen Gunter, University of Manchester
"This brilliant book should be compulsory reading for all sociologists of education everywhere, and for all those interested in education." Bob Lingard, University of Queensland
Stephen J Ball is Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology of Education at the University College London, Institute of Education. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2006; and is also Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences; and Society of Educational Studies, and a Laureate of Kappa Delta Phi; he has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Turku (Finland), and Leicester. He is co-founder and Managing Editor of the Journal of Education Policy.
His main areas of interest are in sociologically informed education policy analysis and the relationships between education, education policy and social class. He has written 20 books and had published over 140 journal articles. Recent books: Edu.Net (Routledge 2017) and Foucault as Educator (Springer 2017).
Introduction: The great education debate (1976-2016);
Key concepts: education policy, economic necessity and education reform;
Class, comprehensives and continuities: a short history of English education policy;
Policy Technologies and The UK government’s approach to public service reform;
Policy, inequity and advantage;
A sociology of education policy: past, present and future.