Discourse in curriculum policy enactment: a focus on leadership practices





Curriculum policy, Discourse, Discursive strategies, Leadership practices, Policy enactment, Working class context


This article focuses on the prevailing discourse in the enactment of governmental curriculum policy via the leadership practices of school management teams (SMTs). Based on qualitative research in three selected working class schools, the article explores how the working class context positions schools in distinct ways to enact curriculum policy. Stephen Ball and colleagues’ policy enactment theory is employed as a lens to investigate the enactment of curriculum policy via the four core leadership practices of setting direction, developing people, redesigning the organisation and managing teaching and learning. It is argued that these working class schools are regulated by the incoming discourse of the curriculum policy and they respond to this incoming discourse in an almost robotic way. The article highlights the two-folded nature of discourse, i.e. the incoming discourse of the curriculum policy, and the schools’ discursive responses. The results indicate that the SMT’s leadership practices are fundamentally impacted and determined by the schools’ materiality and discursive constructions.


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How to Cite

Terhoven, R. (2022). Discourse in curriculum policy enactment: a focus on leadership practices. Perspectives in Education, 40(4), 262-275. https://doi.org/10.38140/pie.v40i4.6003



Research articles