1st Edition

Researching Education Policy, Public Policy, and Policymakers
Qualitative methods and ethical issues

ISBN 9781138024427
Published October 5, 2015 by Routledge
226 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

USD $69.95

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Book Description


Researching Education Policy, Public Policy, and Policymakers is a theoretical and hands-on practical guide to conducting qualitative research on education policy and public policy, with an emphasis on studies that involve senior participants and high-status government and non-government organisations.

Building on over a decade of extensive experience in qualitative research on education policy among the most senior policymakers, this book explores and illustrates successful approaches to working with senior policymakers through examples from both the UK and Israel. Whilst policy studies are traditionally either theoretical or quantitative, this book explains the theory, methodology, and ethics of harnessing qualitative methods to the study of senior policymakers and their settings.

Key topics include:

  • Designing and planning the qualitative policy study
  • Document analysis as a policy research tool
  • Interviewing policymakers and observing policy
  • Mapping qualitative policy analysis methods
  • Writing policy reports
  • Ethics and trust

This practical guide, built upon a sound theoretical framework, will prove both inspirational and helpful to academic and professional researchers across all disciplines involving public policy.

Table of Contents

Part I: Policy studies and qualitative research

Chapter 1: Introduction: Studying senior policymakers and policy in education

via qualitative research methods.

Chapter 2: The case for qualitative research In education policy: rationale and examples.

Chapter 3: Designing and planning the qualitative policy study.

Part II: Methodology and study design

Chapter 4: Document analysis as a policy research tool.

Chapter 5: Open-closed-open: The promises and perils of interviews with policymakers.

Chapter 6: Observing policy: the art of policy watching.

Chapter 7: Mapping qualitative policy analysis methods: toolbox, totem, or taboo.

Chapter 8: Writing a policy report – crafting a policy story: how to turn private .knowledge into public knowledge part iii: ethics in qualitative policy studies.

Part III: Ethics

Chapter 9: An ethical paradigm for studying education policy and people of status and power: mapping the terrain.

Chapter 10: Building trust: abusing trust? The art of confidentiality, intellectual validity, and informed consent.




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Dan Gibton is Tenured Associate Professor at the Constantiner School of Education at Tel-Aviv University, Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, and visiting Professor at the UCL Institute of Education, where he was also a research fellow in 2000, 2005, 2011, and 2015.