chapter  8
4 Pages


Complexity has been one of the major recurring themes of this study. It is also the basis of my brief concluding comments. Education policy is infused with economic, political and ideological contradictions; in the analysis developed here it emerges as a site of struggles 'among status communities for domination, for economic advantage, and for prestige' (Collins 1977 p.3). Not everything can be reduced to the requirements of production, nor to the play of political ideologies. 'Ideological cultural practice' and political necessity are significant as well as, and aside from, 'economic practice' (Whitty 1985 p.34). The curriculum, as I have tried to demonstrate, is a particular focus for contradiction and struggle. The economic provides a context and a 'vocabulary of motives' for reform. The overall repositioning and restructuring of education in relation to production is evident. But in curriculum terms the economic, expressed as either vocational or technical initiatives, remains marginal, although settlements and compromises between contending interests do vary from subject to subject.