Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
Please confirm you are human
(Sign Up for free to never see this)
← Back to Search

‘You’ll See That Everywhere’: Institutional Isomorphism In Secondary School Subject Departments

S. Puttick
Published 2017 · Sociology

Save to my Library
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy
ABSTRACT This paper asks why spatially separated school departments might exhibit, in different ways, very similar practices. Data from an ethnographic study of three secondary school geography departments in England are discussed through a concept of ‘isomorphism’ (homogenising forces), drawn from neo-institutional theory. Similarities across these departments are analysed in terms of coercive isomorphism, including the strong regulatory role played by examination boards and Ofsted; mimetic isomorphism, in which similar approaches are adopted in response to situations of high uncertainty, based on spreading good practice; and normative isomorphism, including the implications of closely guarded educational routes, the professionalisation of teaching, and wider social trends including the increasing use of Google as a source of knowledge for lessons. It is argued that evidence of homogeneity across spatially separated departments raises interesting questions about teachers’ practice, with implications for departmental and school leadership.
This paper references
Pedagogy, symbolic control, and identity : theory, research, critique
B. Bernstein (1997)
Class, Codes and Control: Volume IV The Structuring of Pedagogic Discourse
B Bernstein (1990)
Ethnography Essentials: Designing, Conducting, and Presenting Your Research
Julian M. Murchison (2010)
The potential and challenges for student teachers' learning of subject-specific pedagogical knowledge within secondary school subject departments
K. Burn (2007)
Schooling Passions: Nation, History, and Language in Contemporary Western India
V. Bénéï (2008)
Geography and education II
C. Winter (2012)
Managing from the Middle
L. Williams (2012)
Leadership of School Subject Areas: Tensions and Dimensions of Managing in the Middle.
H. Busher (1999)
The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective.
R. Stern (1978)
Departmental and School Effectiveness: Exploring the Missing Link?
A Harris (2004)
Curriculum Knowledge, Justice, Relations: The Schools White Paper (2010) in England
C. Winter (2014)
An analysis of individual and departmental geographical stories, and their role in sustaining teachers
S. Puttick (2016)
A Geography Curriculum for England
A Standish
Philosophy of education : aims, theory, common sense and research
R. Pring (2004)
Relational Economic Geography: A Partial Understanding or a New Paradigm?
P. Sunley (2008)
Some important distinctions for geography educators
A. Standish (2014)
School effectiveness: coming of age in the 21st century
Pat Sammons (1999)
Chief examiners as Prophet and Priest: relations between examination boards and school subjects, and possible implications for knowledge
S. Puttick (2015)
System leadership: mapping the landscape
D. Hopkins (2007)
Almost Random Careers: The Wisconsin School Superintendency, 1940-1972.
J. C. March (1977)
The social tasks of learning to become a physical education teacher: considering the HPE subject department as a community of practice
K. Sirna (2008)
A Geography Curriculum for England 2011
A. Standish (2011)
Department networks and distributed leadership in schools
J. Lima (2008)
Lost in translation? International migration, learning and knowledge
A. Williams (2006)
Student Teachers and Teacher Educators.
K. Burn (2007)
Time for ethnography
B. Jeffrey (2004)
Subject Disciplines as the Opportunity for Group Action: A Measured Critique of Subject Sub-Cultures
S. Ball (1984)
Turkish geography trainee teachers' perceptions of geography
Seçil Alkış (2009)
Forging Rights in a New Democracy: Ukrainian Students Between Freedom and Justice
A. Fournier (2012)
Epistemological awareness and geographical education in Portugal: the practice of newly qualified teachers
F. Alexandre (2009)
Post-Capitalist Society
P. Drucker (1993)
What influences the learning cultures of subject departments in secondary schools? A study of four subject departments in England
A. Childs (2013)
Elusive Justice: Wrestling with Difference and Educational Equity in Everyday Practice
Thea Renda Abu El‐Haj (2006)
Global Education Inc.: New Policy Networks and the Neoliberal Imaginary
S. Ball (2012)
Paradise Redefined: Transnational Chinese Students and the Quest for Flexible Citizenship in the Developed World
W. Haller (2013)
Realms Of Knowledge: Academic Departments In Secondary Schools
Leslie Santee Siskin (1994)
Performance in teacher education and research - a double whammy for teacher educators?
I. Menter (2012)
Beachside Comprehensive: A Case-Study of Secondary Schooling
S. Ball (1981)
Localized Learning and Industrial Competitiveness
P. Maskell (1995)
Hierarchies and 'local' markets: the geography of the 'lived' market place in secondary education provision
C. Taylor (2001)
Understanding leading as travelling practices
Jane Wilkinson (2013)
The iron cage revisited institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields
Paul J. DiMaggio (1800)
Learning to Labour: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs
江俊儒 (2011)
Subject, Relationships and Identity: The Role of a Science Department in the Professional Learning of a Non-University Science Educated Teacher
W. Melville (2007)
Failure Free Education
D. Reynolds (2010)
Review Essay: Global Perspectives in the Geography Curriculum
John Morgan (2009)
Beyond proximities
R. Rutten (2017)
Geographies of media and communication I
P. Adams (2017)
Towards understanding the influence of subject knowledge in the practice of 'expert' geography teachers
Clare Brooks (2007)
Systems Thinkers in Action: Moving Beyond the Standards
PA Justice. Philadelphia (2004)
Forging Links: Effective Schools and Effective Departments
P. Sammons (1997)
Life in public schools
G. Walford (1986)
School subject departments as sites for science teachers learning pedagogical content knowledge
Jane McNicholl (2013)
Global Education Inc.: New policy networks and the neoliberal imaginary
A. Aubert (2012)
Geographical Knowledge and Teaching Geography
Clare Brooks (2006)
Space-times of teachers’ journeys for knowledge
S. Puttick (2014)
Departments.” The Curriculum
H. Busher (1999)
Expert” Geography Teachers.
K. London. Burn (2007)
Post-capitalist Society. London: Butterworth-Heinemann
P. F. 147–160. Drucker (1993)
Social Relations in a Secondary School
D. Lawton (1967)
The complexity of innovation: A relational turn
Arnt Fløysand (2011)
Education Plc Understanding Private Sector Participation in Public Education
S. Ball (2007)
Pupils' Conceptions of School Geography: A Classroom Based Investigation
N Hopwood (2006)
Problematising short-term participant observation and multi-method ethnographic studies
M. Brockmann (2011)
Ethnography: problems and prospects
M. Hammersley (2006)
Professional knowledge and identity in a contested discipline: challenges for student teachers and teacher educators
K. Burn (2007)
The effect of changes in published secondary school admissions on pupil composition
Rebecca Allen (2012)
Learning to Labor: How Working-Class Kids Get Working-Class Jobs
P. Willis (1977)

This paper is referenced by
Semantic Scholar Logo Some data provided by SemanticScholar