Studio Schools and Marketization: developing employability skills in a competitive educational market

14th February 2019 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Qualitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Ashmita Randhawa and Dr James Robson (SKOPE)

Location: Seminar Room B, Department of Education

Convener: Victoria Elliott

In many ways Studio Schools represent an important innovation and disruption to the current norms of secondary schooling. Providing a targeted 14-19 curriculum, the model focuses on developing employability and enterprise skills through in depth project-based learning, a personalised curriculum, and embedded work placements with employer partners.

These outcomes were originally conceptualised as being facilitated through a specifically designed framework for developing employability skills (the CREATE Framework), a distinctive staffing structure, a small number of students, longer hours, and an emphasis on distinctive spaces.

In this seminar we will use the findings of a year-long study on the implementation of the CREATE framework to discuss the challenges Studio Schools face in implementing their innovative model within the messy realities of a neoliberal educational market place. We will discuss the methodology adopted in the study, combining historical document analysis, a qualitative questionnaire, and in-depth qualitative case studies, and the ways in which this enabled us to examine the tensions between the policy-based theoretical design of an innovative model of vocational education and the practical realities of implementation in an ever-changing policy landscape accountability measures, high stakes competition and ever-dwindling funding.

About the Department of Education

In 2019, the University of Oxford’s Department of Education celebrates the 100th year since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers. To celebrate our centenary a year-long series of activities will be delivered to address some of the department’s top initiatives for 2019, answer some of the big questions facing education today and to reveal the advancements the department has made to the study of and research in the field of education. Join us as we mark our 100th year and discover more about our anniversary here.

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