Cultural transformation in further education? Mapping the debate

SIMKINS, T. J. and LUMBY, J. (2002). Cultural transformation in further education? Mapping the debate. Research in post compulsory education, 7 (1), 9-25.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/13596740200200116


There seems to be much agreement that cultures within general and specialist further education colleges in the United Kingdom have metamorphosed since 1993. This has been a result of many pressures. The most fundamental of these can be traced back to long-term processes of economic and social change. However, the proximal factors can be related to changes in government policy, with strong pressures to enhance student learning and outcomes and to reduce costs. This article eviews a range of research which addresses the consequences of these changes for college cultures. It considers the managerialist interpretation which posits an increasing polarisation of values between managers and lecturers, suggesting that, while there are elements of truth in this, the picture is a more complex one with a variety of groupings - managers at various levels, lecturers, support staff and students - acting to pursue their preferred values and interests within arenas where patterns of power are shifting in complex ways. The article concludes by proposing a number of directions in which research might usefully be progressed, including studies that move beyond the simple dichotomy of managers and lecturers, to explore changes within colleges on a more systemic basis, and that consider change over time.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Institute of Education
Identification Number: 10.1080/13596740200200116
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2008
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2015 10:53

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