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“A long way to go before we win the battle” The propaganda war over the Picot report and Tomorrow's Schools

“A long way to go before we win the battle” The propaganda war over the Picot report and... Purpose – During the late 1980s New Zealand, in common with a number of other nations, underwent a controversial restructuring of its public sector, including education. The radical nature of education reform was to be epitomised in the documents Administering for Excellence (the Picot report), and the Labour Government's official response, Tomorrow's Schools . The publication of these documents, however, tended to polarize New Zealand's education sector and the public at large into opposite and opposing camps. This paper aims to address these issues. Design/methodology/approach – In producing a step‐by‐step analysis of the techniques of persuasion employed during a crucial period of New Zealand's educational history, it will be shown how many of the arguments presented during this time have continued to shape the way we view the educational reforms and their impact more than 20 years later. Findings – It will be demonstrated that the nature and style of propaganda on both sides was highly sophisticated, expressly aimed at building a constituency that was either supportive or hostile to reform. Originality/value – This paper is perhaps the first to critically examine the nature and role of propaganda in both promoting the educational reforms and in galvanizing resistance to them. In utilising the very considerable amount of hitherto un‐cited documentary material now available, this paper makes a major contribution to education policy research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

“A long way to go before we win the battle” The propaganda war over the Picot report and Tomorrow's Schools

History of Education Review , Volume 40 (1): 19 – Jun 24, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/08198691111140811
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – During the late 1980s New Zealand, in common with a number of other nations, underwent a controversial restructuring of its public sector, including education. The radical nature of education reform was to be epitomised in the documents Administering for Excellence (the Picot report), and the Labour Government's official response, Tomorrow's Schools . The publication of these documents, however, tended to polarize New Zealand's education sector and the public at large into opposite and opposing camps. This paper aims to address these issues. Design/methodology/approach – In producing a step‐by‐step analysis of the techniques of persuasion employed during a crucial period of New Zealand's educational history, it will be shown how many of the arguments presented during this time have continued to shape the way we view the educational reforms and their impact more than 20 years later. Findings – It will be demonstrated that the nature and style of propaganda on both sides was highly sophisticated, expressly aimed at building a constituency that was either supportive or hostile to reform. Originality/value – This paper is perhaps the first to critically examine the nature and role of propaganda in both promoting the educational reforms and in galvanizing resistance to them. In utilising the very considerable amount of hitherto un‐cited documentary material now available, this paper makes a major contribution to education policy research.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 24, 2011

Keywords: Educational reform; Picot report; Tomorrow's Schools ; Propaganda; Persuasion; Debate; Educational innovation; Public sector reform; Educational policy; New Zealand

References