Transformation of Legislative Intentions: A Multi-Level Examination of the Influence of Neoliberalism on Quality Policy Enactment and Implementation in Teacher Preparation

Wiggins, Afi, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Heinecke, Walter, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

This is a case of the influence of neoliberal ideologies on the transformation of teacher quality standards and the consequences for teacher education. It examines how neoliberal influences shaped the thinking and actions taken by policy makers at the federal, regional and state levels and how those processes shaped the definition and implementation of teacher quality standards within a college of education. The research presented is an examination of the conditions, processes, and consequences of the implementation of quality standards at a faith-based School of Education in the southern region of the United States analyzed through Hall’s (1995) Transformation of Policy Intentions Framework and Baltodano’s (2012) Critical Policy Analysis Framework. This study investigated how policy actors make sense of, interpret, and respond to federal, national accreditation, state, and university mandates to implement teacher quality standards in teacher preparation.

The findings show neoliberalism in action, and how policies transform from the intentions of senior managers across all levels of the policy enactment and implementation process to the actions of lower-level policy actors on the front line of policy implementation. The neoliberal characteristics evidenced from the findings include those identified by critical policy analysts (Baltodano, 2012; Giroux, 2002; Lorenz, 2012):

• The eroding or elimination of the notion of education as a common good to be supplanted with the notion of education for the purpose of global economic competition;
• The development of new discourses, rewards, norms, institutional practices, and common-sense values;
• The state acquiring a new identity as the protector of capital, where its role is to enhance social and educational policies to protect the market;
• Active political intervention of schools, colleges and universities by national and state governments;
• Senior management control over policies and policy implementation actions;
• The standardization of efficient, formal input/output processes to measure quality;
• The use of predetermined standards and measurable indicators of performance to determine quality; and
• Defining quality in education by the product of education.

Neoliberal conditions provide a rationale for how and why quality policy enactment and implementation at the teacher preparation program level transforms as it does.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
neoliberalism, neoliberal ideology, teacher quality, teacher quality policy, teacher quality standards, teacher education, policy analysis, critical policy analysis, policy transformation, policy implementation, school of education, schools of education, college of education, colleges of education, teacher preparation, teacher preparation program, teacher preparation programs, policy enactment
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