Politics in education

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As an academic discipline the study of politics in education has two main roots: The first root is based on theories from political science while the second root is footed in organizational theory.[1] Political science attempts to explain how societies and social organizations use power to establish regulations and allocate resources. Organizational theory uses scientific theories of management to develop deeper understandings regarding the function of organizations.

Researchers have drawn a distinction between two types of politics in schools. The term micro-politics refers to the use of formal and informal power by individuals and groups to achieve their goals in organizations. Cooperative and conflictive processes are integral components of micro-politics. Macro-politics refers to how power is used and decision making is conducted at district, state, and federal levels. Macro-politics is generally considered to exist outside the school, but researchers have noted that micro- and macro-politics may exist at any level of school systems depending on circumstance.[2]

There exist significant difference between "Politics of Education" and "Politics in Education". More debates on the prevailing differences are solicited from academia of the world to define politics educationally. An example of politics in education is in Freidus and Ewings' article about educational policy.  They suggest that an example of politics in education is race in Neoliberal school policies.[3]


  1. ^ Scribner, J. D.; Aleman, E.; Maxcy, B. (February 1, 2003). "Emergence of the Politics of Education Field: Making Sense of the Messy Center". Educational Administration Quarterly. 39 (1): 10–40. doi:10.1177/0013161X02239759. S2CID 143539108.
  2. ^ Blasé, J.; Blase, J. (February 1, 2002). "The Micropolitics of Instructional Supervision: A Call for Research". Educational Administration Quarterly. 38 (1): 6–44. doi:10.1177/0013161X02381002. S2CID 144263618.
  3. ^ Freidus, Alexandra; Ewing, Eve L. (June 2022). "Good Schools, Bad Schools: Race, School Quality, and Neoliberal Educational Policy". Educational Policy. 36 (4): 763–768. doi:10.1177/08959048221087208. ISSN 0895-9048. S2CID 247687698.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ball, S (1987). The micro-politics of the school: Towards a theory of school organization. New York: Methuen. ISBN 0416001025.
  • Iannaccone, L. (August 1991). "Micropolitics of education: What and why". Education and Urban Society. 23 (4): 465–471. doi:10.1177/0013124591023004008. S2CID 145607708.
  • Hoyle, E. (1986). The politics of school management. London: Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 0340389931.