Neither Technicians nor Technocrats: pluralism and democratic accountability in schools

FORUM - ISSN 0963-8253
Volume 62 Number 3 (2020)

Neither Technicians nor Technocrats: pluralism and democratic accountability in schools
PETER KELLY pages 423-432
DOI: 10.15730/forum.2020.62.3.423


Whether the relationship between policymaking and science has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic remains unclear. The success scientists have enjoyed in dealing with the virus and hopes they will develop a vaccine may increase the status of some experts whilst damaging populist anti-science sentiment. Some may call for increased technocracy, where experts run the state. However, the opposite is also possible, as science is exposed as a combination of evidence and opinion, and tarnished by its association with untrustworthy politicians using it to justify their policies. This, then, would seem like a good time to clarify the scope and limitations of science in developing public policy. The author's interest is in education, where managerial practices dominate whilst a new science modelled on evidence-informed medicine has emerged, which promises to find out 'what works' to raise student attainment. But evidence has limitations and politics often influences its selection and interpretation - concerns that could undermine public confidence and play into populist hands. Instead, decision-makers should acknowledge these difficulties, take a more pluralist stance to research-informed practice, and act transparently to allow public scrutiny and support democratic accountability.

SORRY - you are not registered as being permitted online access to the full text of this article

You have the following options:

  1. If you are viewing this via an institution or academic library you can ask that your institution takes out a Subscription to this journal.
  2. If you already have a Personal Subscription please login below

    Forgotten your username / password? Click here to locate

  3. Purchase an annual Personal Subscription
    PRINT + DIGITAL personal subscription (£45 / year)
    DIGITAL personal subscription (£35 / year)
    A Personal Subscription provides immediate access not only to the single article you are seeking, but also to all past and future articles in this journal up to the expiry of your annual (calendar year) subscription.
  4. Purchase immediate access to this single article (UK£7.00) - Buy article Coming Soon

To cite this article
PETER KELLY (2020) Neither Technicians nor Technocrats: pluralism and democratic accountability in schools, FORUM, 62(3), 423-432.

Share this