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Shouting theatre in a crowded fire: "educational effectiveness" as cultural performance

Stronach, Ian (1999) Shouting theatre in a crowded fire: "educational effectiveness" as cultural performance. Evaluation, 5 (2). pp. 173-193. ISSN 1356-3890

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This article offers a deconstruction of global evaluative discourses concerning school effectiveness and improvement. It portrays these discourses in anthropological terms, as 'cultural performances', and examines the ways in which technical discourses obscure elements of ritual, philosophy, myth and shamanism. The author concludes that such discourses, especially in their mediatized forms - as league tables - are a form of contemporary 'spectacle'. They are our Olympic Games. The relation between these discourses and their cultural critique is then itself deconstructed in order to reflect on the nature and purpose of deconstruction as a means to contemporary cultural and educational insight.

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