Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

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Educational policy analysis archives
Arizona State University
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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 5, no. 15 (July 04, 1997).
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Early childhood evaluation and policy analysis : a communicative framework for the next decade / Cynthia Wallat and Carolyn Piazza.
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1 of 33 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 5 Number 15July 4, 1997ISSN 1068-2341A peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal. Editor: Gene V Glass Glass@ASU.EDU. College of Education Arizona State University,Tempe AZ 85287-2411 Copyright 1997, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES.Permission is hereby granted to copy any a rticle provided that EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES is credited and copies are not sold.Early Childhood Evaluation and Policy Analysis: A Communicative Framework for the Next DecadeCynthia Wallat and Carolyn Piazza Florida State University Abstract A major challenge for the next generation of stude nts of human development is to help shape the paradigms by which we analyze and ev aluate public policies for children and families. Advocates of building research and policy connections point to health care and stress experiences across home, school, and communi ty as critical policy issues that expand the scope of contexts and outcomes studied. At a mi nimum, development researchers and practitioners will need to be well versed in availa ble methods of inquiry; they will need to be "methodologically multilingual" when conducting eva luation and policy analysis, producing reports, and reporting their interpretations to con sumer and policy audiences. This article suggests how traditional approaches to policy inqui ry can be reconsidered in light of these research inquiry and communicative skills needed by all policy researchers. A fifteen year review of both policy and discourse processes resea rch is presented to suggest ways to conduct policy studies within a communicative frame work. INTRODUCTION Human development literature documents numerous att empts to stimulate debate, evaluation and recommendations concerning health an d welfare policy and practice (Steele & Wallat 1997). Similar to other human service fiel ds, it appears that policy dissemination is beginning to obtain a strong base in educational or ganizations and associations. The weekly newspaper Education Week has developed into "Americ aÂ’s educationÂ’s newspaper of


2 of 33record." The 20 thousand plus member American Educa tional Research Association (AERA) has ensured that dozens of educational polic y presentations will be included in the annual meeting by advancing educational policy rese arch to division status. Additionally, AERA editors recently devoted two issues of its pre mier journal, Educational Researcher, to include illustrations of building research and poli cy connections and the annual program was organized around the theme "Talking Together in Edu cational Research and Practice." Following this theme, the presidential address focu ses on the questions, "How can we, as educators, create communication among professional educators, researchers and other public vested in education?" and "How can we explicitly co nvey a spirit of inclusion and discussion with all those interested in education? ( AERA Annu al Meeting 1996, p. 51). AERA Council members are also working on building a stro ng base by adopting a policy emphasis in the organizationÂ’s strategic plan. These goals i nclude devising mechanisms on communicating research in ways that influence polic y and practice and engaging in specific activities to encourage research that is meaningful and relevant to practitioners and policymakers (AERA Council Minutes 1997, p.41). Edward Lawlor (1996) suggests that "it is hard to i magine how this approach would not lead to a view of [policy] analyses as mere mar keting" (p.114). The conception of policy analysis as "more communication" within and across "more communities" is a symptom of nadir of purpose and rationale and a warning sign o f vulnerability, drift and low status (cf. p. 111112). It is not enough to say that policy anal ysts will gain power to make claims within policy arenas by publishing products that discuss r esearch in simpler, more engaging terms. Such blanket statements do little to establish a co nnection to discipline premises regarding utilization of information or the dynamics of diffu sion between sociocultural systems within contexts of tension (Wallat 1995). As Lawlor points out, to become a vital profession policy analysis must establish its connection to the intel lectual traditions of the field and the "much larger movement in the social sciences to explore n arrative and linguistic forms of social constructs" (p. 112). The work presented here builds upon our initial ide ntification of intellectual traditions in policy research on the relationship between lang uage and policy (Wallat & Piazza 1991). We agree with LawlorÂ’s analysis of what is needed t o move beyond blanket statements about communication and dissemination. However, we disagree with his negative judgment that recent scholarship on discourses such as narra tives represents a "shaky" contribution to policy research. To anticipate the conclusion, we a gree with LawlorÂ’s (and others) caution that if policy analysis is to become a vital profes sion it must create the capacity to lead itsÂ’ members to perform their work in accord with the in tellectual tradition of policy analysis as variable functions of communication, forms of persu asion and modes of presentation (cf., Lasswell 1970; Wildavsky 1977). We disagree with hi s judgment that attempts to apply new knowledge in the disciplines of linguistics to anal ysis of achieving this endeavor are insubstantial. As Laswell (1970) has argued, the ac hievement of status and recognition of policy analysis as a profession in academic and pub lic arenas depends upon critically examining its distinctive outlook. Such critical ex amination of policy analysisÂ’ distinctive problem orientation and social process (or contextu ality) frame of reference requires continuous search for parallels between disciplines As we have elaborated in other reports on types of discourse analysis, the disciplines of linguistics converge in emphasize on examining social contexts and social processes (e.g Wallat & Piazza 1988, 1991). The theme of language and policy relationships in t his paper builds upon our earlier identification of intellectual traditions in policy research that have emphasized the need for policy scientists to pay attention to variable form s of communication and community in the production of final reports. We illustrate here the relationship between language and policy by considering communication functions and tasks un dertaken before the production of final


3 of 33policy reports. Given our professional interests in early childhood, we eventually narrowed a fifteen year set of examples of communication funct ions in policy analysis to early childhood policy studies. Our approach essentially follows Marshall and RossmanÂ’s (1989) advice to identify and name a process and construct and explore its attributes in a variety of functions. First, we decided to concentrate the rev iew on illustrating the process of communicative functions as exemplified in AERAÂ’s po licy journal called Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA). Second, we i dentified a set of language in public life constructs from multiple discipline studies of forms of communication and community. The illustrations of variable communication functio ns in policy analysis traditions then serve to point to connections to knowledge on linguistic forms of social constructs. The fifteen year review may also serve to suggest connections t hat need to be made to expand the scope of early childhood contexts and outcomes to address critical human development policy issues.SKILLS NEEDED BY POLICY RESEARCHERS It has become commonplace to expect that students of human development need to be comfortable with the basic concepts and underlying assumptions of social sciences inquiry in order to judge the results of early intervention However, developmental researchers have argued that professionals are increasingly obligate d by scientific considerations, by societal demographics, by professional societies, and by mor al persuasion to address how their fields of developmental study can draw more direct links between their work and policy questions (MacPhee, Kruentzer & Fritz 1994, p. 713) Child and family policy experts also point out tha t expanded skills are necessary in order to help others decide which promises are reas onable for inclusion in public policy initiatives (cf. Datta 1983, p. 469). Datta (1982) predicts that just as methods used to disprove hypotheses drew "the best and the brightes t" in the past, the use of approaches to explain what is tenable in development programs and policies research can attract a new generation of researchers who are "methodologically multilingual" (p. 144). As Lazar (1983) reminds us, the ground has been broken in evaluatin g the enduring effects and the practical economic implications of intervening in the context s of children and families. At issue is how human development fields will face their dimini shing ability to use classical analysis technologies in the light of social change and comm unity sophistication. The scope of concern is reflected in expansion of development an d policy agendas such as, (a) How and why some children and families fare better than oth ers? (b) How and why a social structure, position, or system could or should affect the indi vidual ? (c) Who benefits from early childhood programs? (d) Are some interventions more successful with some individual and social group capabilities acquired in social life? and (e) Where should scarce resources be allocated? (cf. Huston, McLloyd & Coll 1994; Hymes 1974; 1979). The technical tasks of developmental researchers will be to outline what a dvances are possible to available evaluation and policy analysis approaches in order to satisfy the expectation that investigations can draw more direct links with poli cy questions (Huston, McLloyd & Coll 1994, p. 282). Their theoretical task will be to be come familiar with evaluation and policy analysis topics and approaches that have been under taken within anthropology, economic, social psychology and sociology perspectives (Susma n-Stillman, Brown, Adam, Blair, Gaines, Gordon, White & Wynn 1996, p. 7).PERSPECTIVE It is no small task to become methodologically mul tilingual in order to consider


4 of 33critical social issues in a broader framework. Datt a (1982) reminds us that the conduct of, and completion of, multimethod studies involves a c onsiderable range of purposes, sequences, and functions. Distinctions of potential significance which have helped awake the nation's conscience to situations of displaceme nt, life on the margins, and blocked possibilities (Note 1), are dependent upon communic ating within both academic and political arenas. For example, Popkewitz (1991) poi nts out that it is shortsighted to believe that the right mix of availability of public fundin g for intervention research -and a group of researchers practiced in multiple approaches driven by competing assumptions about classical models of the change process--will be abl e to have an enduring effect on social, health and educational policy. Popkewitz reached this conclusion after examining reform efforts in the United States since the 1960s through an historical, philosophica l and social theory framework. However, he also believes that drawing links between develop ment research and policy questions might be able to have three long lasting contributi ons : (a) dissemination of the knowledge of disciplines along with the basis of these endeav ors (i.e., making visible variable approaches of arguing, thinking, and "seeing" the w orld), (b) recognition that discipline knowledge produces a curious anomaly of explicitnes s and ambiguity (i.e., making visible the production of discipline knowledge as a "proces s that naturally involves ambiguity, tentativeness, and inventiveness as core dispositio ns" p. 140), and (c) advances in understanding of the functions of multiple inquiry approaches (i.e., making visible the link between policy research and policy proposals as soc ial practices and social regulations of inquiry). Popkewitz conceptualizes these three examples of lo ng lasting contributions of development and policy research to demonstrate his concern with the need to expand support for development of social epistemology as a legitimate art of inquiry. As explained in his proposed options for considering the relatio n of researchers and social movements, social epistemology would consider the objects cons tituted as "the knowledge of policy" as a central focus. Within this focus, "the knowledge of policy" becomes a social practice amenable to inquiry; statements and words included in reports "are not just signs or signifiers that refer to fixed things, but are form s of social practice" (p.219). This conceptualization of the relationship between knowl edge (epistemology) and power is intended as a means of making research practices su ch as evaluation and policy analysis accessible across multiple disciplines. As Wildavsk y (1977) argues, "Analysis should be shown not defined" (p.10). Only through juxtapositi on of available and manipulable problem solving means and resources can analysis be shown. "Who are we to say which field law, sociology, social psychology, philisop hy, history, anthropology, or whatever might make the best contribution to policy analysis ?" (p.12). The next sections provide a starting point for ven turing into the study of social practices of policy research. Overall, we address t he possibility of alternative conceptions of policy research through presentation of a communica tive framework for considering multiple approaches to evaluation and policy analys is. The nature and substance of approaches, considered as forms and functions of co mmunication, include accountability, case study, discrepancy, ethnographic, experimental expert opinion, illuminative, judicial, naturalistic, and responsive. The framework is base d upon the assertion that what is--or will be--tenable is a constant in policy studies (Datta 1983). The idea that better knowledge produces better decisions is misleading. The types of skills and training needed to address critical policy issues require considering how a co mbination of policy approaches, or functions, may eventually lead to modest policy cla ims, contingent policy claims, or strong claims that warrant funds for continued investigati on.


5 of 33THE CHALLENGE The question of what is tenable involves a number of issues. (Note 2) Current accountability rhetoric suggests that providing con vincing evidence of the "enduring effects" of public policy initiatives must include developme nt of conceptualizations of educational and other social development programs as a means of initiating a reinvestment spiral from limited initial capital. (Note 3) The widespread ad option and use of metaphors such as "enduring effects," "opportunities for success," an d "practical economics" by legislators means that development professionals must communica te positive accountability indicators, indicators that go beyond the repertoire of terms h eavily relied upon in the discourse of psychometric research. Evaluations must demonstrate how programs both provide for local resources management and human resources management employing relevant strategies of cultural, political or religious revitalization (Ea ston 1989). To uncover and explain such post early development effects requires that development professionals be well versed in traditional and evolving approaches to evaluation a nd policy analysis. Easton (1989) refers to this job skill as paying increased attention to "the notion of integrating the educational field," that is, paying increased attention to the multiple approaches to inquiry that have developed in the social sciences to help relate edu cation to the rest of the social system (p.438).VIEWING RESEARCH APPROACHES AS DISCOURSE FUNCTIONS Addressing the growing number of calls for "multim ethod" evaluation and policy analyses (e.g., Green, Caracelli, & Graham 1989; Ca racelli & Green 1993), does not have to start from scratch. Recent analysis of a decade of contributions to the communicative functions of policy analysis has highlighted conver gence with several decades of advances in understanding the semantic and pragmatic aspects of communication and the multiple communicative resources individuals have at their d isposal (Wallat 1984; 1991a). For example, the development of detailed procedures in descriptive linguistics since the 1960s has resulted in empirical explorations of multiple communicative resources which encompass notions of negotiation, accommodations, a nd pluralism. Lakoff's (1990) formulations of language use as po wer and language resources as a composite of the three properties of form, function and meaning, is especially valuable in two ways to policy analysis. First, such formulatio ns about language resources provides a theoretical framework for acting on 25 years of adv ice by policy researchers to pay attention to language (e.g., Benveniste 1991; Smith 1992; Wal lat & Piazza 1991). Second, advances in understanding the semantic and pragmatic aspects of oral and written communication are especially valuable in meeting the responsibilities of evaluators. At a minimum these responsibilities include awareness of particular ap plications of language in accomplishing everyday events, in accomplishing variable function s of the social sciences as academically institutionalized inquiry, and accomplishing variab le functions of policy directed work in the contexts the researcher hopes to study (cf. Borich 1983). As Lakoff points out, "the trick for all of us is to grasp the generalizations, the larg er picture. What is the connection between the form [function and meaning] of a communication and the power it provides its' user.... All language is political; and we all are, or had b etter become, politicians" (pp. ix, 2). SCOPE OF THE REVIEW


6 of 33 The sections that follow deal largely with asserti ons about language resources by demonstrating the contributions of discourse proces s research to policy work. Section one sets the stage by presenting a 15 year compilation of policy analysis approaches in terms of their primary communicative functions. As elaborate d upon in section two, the concept of functions of language is one of 9 key linguistic co ncepts that parallels the theoretical and practical interests of policy work. One purpose of the policy work compilation in Section one is to establish a connection to the intellectua l traditions of the field and the movement in the social sciences to explore linguistic forms of social constructs. Demonstrating parallels between social practices and inquiry functions acro ss disciplines is an untapped resource for individuals as they move towards the complex role o f a fullscale policy scientist who is knowledgeable of the policy process and knowledgeab le in the policy process (Lasswell 1970). An example of one scholarÂ’s move towards pol icy research points to the benefits found in becoming aware of types of discourse analy sis available. ConquergoodÂ’s (1991) work in international war zones and inner city Chic ago led him to explore historically the disagreements that are part of the organization of social sciences' struggle with "deep epistemological, methodological, and ethical self-a wareness" (p. 179). His identification and analysis of such parallels across the social scienc es led to becoming reflective about the kinds of knowledge and their attendant discursive s tyles that get reconstituted and privileged in social science research propositions and researc h practices. "And, most importantly for critical theorists, what configuration of socio-pol itical interest does a disciplines' scholarship serve" (p. 193). Section one illustrates some first steps that can be taken to address some of the scrutiny issues that need further reflection in the latest wave of attempts to recalibrate research with a focus on social practices (cf., Coh en & Garet 1975; Rein 1983; Schubert 1980). The section includes an introduction to ten classical evaluation and policy analysis approach categories; it outlines discourse concepts for building a communicative framework for considering these categories in the remainder o f the article. This section one outline serves as a strategy to organize references to fift een years of educational evaluation and policy analysis studies that used these approaches and present concepts from research on discourse processes as a new way to think about eva luation and policy analysis. The policy research reports that are included as illustrations of the communicative functions of policy analysis were selected based upon two criteria. Fir st, the authors of the reports included statements which referenced how they intended to bu ild upon one of ten most frequently reported approaches in the American Educational Res earch Association's (AERA) policy journal which has recently completed its first 15 y ears of publication (i.e., Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis). The second criteri a for review and selection of 46 early childhood policy reports was that the authors inclu ded elaboration of the functions and procedures of the approach they used. The discussion of projects included in the fifteen year compilation highlights a point of convergence across the concerns of evaluators an d policy analysts, development and discourse processes researchers, and critical theor ists: the need to reconsider how social sciences research approaches are capable of serving the social-communicative function of expanding the classical conceptual and methodologic al focus on institutions and organizational goals to include individuals and the ir beliefs, interactions, interpretations, and alternative reactions and responses. Having related early childhood research with intellectual traditions in educational policy work as well as so ciolinguistic work, section two suggests ways of enhancing this relationship. It reintroduce s the nine communicative framework concepts that may help child, family and community researchers include attention to discourse processes as they keep abreast of new pol icy work and/or participate in evaluation and policy projects. From a communicative perspecti ve, the framework supplies a central


7 of 33motif for considering how the next generation of an alysts from multiple fields of developmental study can draw more direct links to p olicy issues by: (a) learning to define policy work as a social event that serves communica tive functions, and (b) learning to become methodologically multilingual through the us e of metacommunication tools throughout the research cycle. The third section illustrates how a communicative framework may be maintained in future evaluation and policy work by presenting a s ample of procedural details from the research approach reports compiled in section one. The procedural details are offered as examples of the nine language and policy concepts-or metacommunication tools-introduced in section two. Following sociolinguisti c analysis aims, the purpose of using these concepts to scrutinize and design policy stud ies is to keep ourselves and others appreciative that "language is not just something t hat shapes our understanding of the world, but also a tool by which we can discuss and evaluat e these same understandings" (Nielsen 1995, p.11). We introduce and explicate the concept s in this article as a strategy to help the next cadre of development and policy researchers de velop an initial assessment of the conditions of possible communication in the design and conduct their policy studies. Once such conditions are identified, it will be possible to address the larger issue of what we do with our research material and how we represent hum an action and context (cf., Grimshaw 1987; Popkewitz 1991; Risemann 1993; Wallat 1991a; 1991b). LINKING EARLY CHILDHOOD RESEARCH, EDUCATIONAL EVALU ATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS, AND LANGUAGE WORK Early childhood research has a long history in the United States. Recent reviews acknowledge over 60 years of efforts by organizatio ns such as the Society for Research in Child Development to contribute to the development of policies that influence the lives of children and their families (e.g., Stevenson & Sieg el 1984; Wallat and Steele, 1997). One indication of how educational researchers have incl uded consideration of early childhood evaluation and policy analysis can be found in the content of reports published in the first fifteen years of the AERA journal which was establi shed to professionalize the subject of evaluation and policy analysis. Tables 1 and 2 demonstrate that locating multiple functions of early childhood evaluation and policy analysis approaches is not di fficult. The educational evaluation and policy analysis approach categories listed in Table 1 represent a compilation of over 130 policy reports which have been published since 1979 in EEPA. Matching the sample of articles to the labels used to flag ten approaches used by contributors to EEPA was quite straightforward: the approach type was often includ ed in the title of the article, and / or the researchers included statements in their EEPA artic les to introduce these generally known labels of the functions served by these approaches (cf. Stake 1981). Authors of the evaluation and policy studies used to compile the numerical chart in Table 1 are identified in Table 2 along with the to pic studied. Again, these references are organized according to the particular approach cate gory the authors used to flag their project findings or approach discussion. Table 2 also ident ifies the authors of 46 evaluation and policy articles concerned with early childhood. To minimize the arbitrary nature of most categories used in compilations or reviews of repor ts, we relied on the emphasis each author presented in their article to decide about inclusio n of reports into the approach categories labeled accountability, case study, discrepancy, et hnographic, experimental, illuminative, judicial, naturalistic, and responsive. If the auth or(s) gave attention to more than one approach, the article is cited more than once.


8 of 33 TABLE 1Functional Targets of Analysis of Ten Approaches Us ed in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (cf, Stake, 1981b) 1.1. Collection of policy reports highlighting the following 10 discourse functions: accountability to assure laws, policies, rules, contracts, are hon ored case study to concentrate on a single case and its complexity discrepancy to emphasize formal objectives and their contrasts and impact ethnographic to emphasize cultural relationships experimental to report "controlled" treatments that aim toward a ssessment expert opinion to organize information around providing feedback f or decisionmaking illuminative to portray situations as readers themselves may see things judicial to optimize presentation of the cases for and again st naturalistic to observe ordinary events in natural settings responsiveto fix on meanings and concerns held by k ey constituencies 1.2 Total Number of Approach Discussions/ExamplesApproach Number of Discussions ofApproaches Number of Early Childhood Discussions Reviewed(1979-1994) accountability: 1710 case study: 1712 discrepancy: 53 ethnographic: 81 experimental: 119 expert opinion: 22 illuminative: 51 judicial: 95 naturalistic: 82 responsive: 51 TOTAL8746TABLE 22.1 Authors Cited in the Review and Topics Covered In Articles ApproachAuthorsTopic accountability: Barnes & Ginsburg, 1979Title 1


9 of 33USING A DISCOURSE FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATION AND POLI CY ANALYSIS Discourse concepts can be used by evaluators and p olicy analysts to enhance their profession's accomplishment of three tasks: (a) con sidering what gets defined and who does the defining, (b) contributing to qualitative insig hts, and (c) articulating variable interpretations of policy contexts and outcomes (cf Lakoff & Johnson 1980; Gumperz 1982; Cronbach 1975). Policy researchers may find that th e concepts are useful in day to day work on a variety of projects. For example, as individua ls involved in a particular project begin to work with each other, they begin constituting event s in the formulation, design, and conduct of a policy study. While some may consider such eve nts as simply routine, discourse research provides insight into the resources indivi duals rely upon to define the situation and establish their work within participant structures, as well as insights into the social and cognitive processes embedded in the enactment of ro utines. The nine concepts previously defined in Table 3 ar e used in discourse studies to identify and explain variation in functions, forms, and features of communication across home, community, business, school and other institu tional settings. On a cautionary note, evaluators and policy analysts unfamiliar with soci olinguistics research may find that prior notions about language, social organization, or dev elopment interfere with their ability to understand these nine concepts. While public media and workshop brochures offer exhortations on a perceived decline of clear writin g and speaking, discourse researchers provide representations of oral and written languag e in quite different terms. To capture the indefinite and precise features and resources of la nguage, discourse researchers use descriptors such as inherent ambiguity (e.g., Cryst al 1980); inherent indeterminacy (e.g., Dore and McDermott 1982); inherent variability (e.g ., Hymes 1979); and inherent, inextricable links between the referential and soci al aspects of meaning in language (Erickson 1978). With these notions in mind, discou rse researchers would tell an audience of policy researchers that even a hypothetical soci ety of all standard language speakers and writers would show detectable variations in expecta tions about language fluency, expressiveness, and use of styles (cf. Becker 1988; Hymes 1979). Individuals and social groups have constructed a v ariety of conventions to deal with the resource and constraint features of language. S uch conventions are visible in individuals' and social groups' ideology and values regarding co mmunication standards; what is considered "clear and precise" in one code may not be considered "clear and precise" in another's code of socialized correct conduct. There fore, a key to understanding the organization of -and social practices of -oral and written discourse functions in a particular policy project is to learn how to become aware of the "rules" or conventions clients and audience have about the use of language Hymes (1979) refers to this as undertaking observation of an organization of these means, roughly a "what" and a "how." A key to the organization of language in a particul ar culture or period is restriction of free combination of "whats" and "how s," the things that must be said in certain ways, the ways that can be used onl y for certain things. The admissible relations comprise the admissible styles In effect, the study of language is fundamentally a study of styles. (Hymes 1979, p. 8) In other words, in order to begin to "see" the inhe rent characteristics of oral and written texts in operation, to "see" how situations roles, and activities affect and shape ways of using language, we need to go beyond questions o f rules of grammar, or rules of production, in the design of educational evaluation and policy analysis. Lasswell (1970)


10 of 33anticipated this problem and advised policy researc hers that their well established categories and neologisms in formulations of policy and societ y did not have to be dropped. "In the future [policy researchers] can re-edit [their] ter ms in ways that increase the interconvertability of jargon systems" (p.16). More recently the work of students of discourse systems have added further specifics to L asswellÂ’s premises on thinking and talking about policy and society. What is required is awareness of the social meanings attached by individuals or groups to variations in oral and written styles and an awareness of individuals' or group attitudes or notions about la nguage. The definitions in Table 3 are a beginning. Functions of language. The question of how individuals communicate inform ation and persuade others in actual situations is still f ar from being resolved. Some have observed that "it is not words which mean things but [indivi duals] who, by words, mean things; that a statement does not represent a fact but that [indiv iduals], by a statement, mean facts" (DeMauro 1967, p. 2). Yet discourse researchers arg ue that finding answers to questions about how information and persuasion are used to cr eate certain rhetorical effects and how they can be analyzed requires paying attention to h ow ordinary forms of communication are empty by themselves. "As in architecture, form is f unction, and is meaning as well" (Lakoff 1990, p. 27). They attempt to persuade human servic e professionals that it is possible to develop understanding of how day to day talk and wr iting is a composite of all these aspects. Lakoff (1990) recommends that we begin to think abo ut what we read and hear from the vantage point of a schema/frame she refers to as a three-sided triangle. She uses the concept of schema/frame in terms of its usefulness as a met acommunication tool; the metaphor "three sided triangle" can guide our observations a bout how functions of language are a reflection of beliefs about speaking and writing in the policy contexts we are studying. For example, if we are conducting an "accountability" s tudy, we need to become aware of the meanings that the contract monitors as well as inte nded informants and report audiences associate with the abstract concept "accountability ." Lakoff's suggestion of focusing on a three-sided triangle is a reminder to ask ourselves How are the forms of language related to the uses we and others make of them? (p. 6). HymesÂ’ (1972) contends that such questions provide a primer for observing pluralism in day to day actions. People who know the same sounds, words, and syntax may not know [other indiv iduals'] rules for interpreting [such sounds, words, and syntax] as requests or commands; [as signals] for the topics that can be introduced ...; [as signals] for taking turns and g etting the floor; for making allusions; avoiding insults, showing respect and selfrespect in choice of words, etc. (Hymes 1972, p. xxxviii). Mutual understanding depends as much upon common linguistic means, in the narrow sense, but also on being aware that reaching understanding involves negotiation about how those who want "more communication" reach agreement about ways of using and interpreting speech. The point both Lakoff and Hymes make about linguis tic means is that speakers and writers already have resources they can use to begi n to analyze these facets of public discourses more precisely. Policy research critics such as Garnet and Cohen (1975), House (1979a), and Sadler (1985), argue that educational policy researchers might pay attention to the repertoire of choices speaking, listening, writ ing, and reading communication resources comprise. To date discourse researchers have illust rated how variation in form can begin to be thought about through considering a relatively f ew general categories of functions of language (i.e., getting things done; controlling th e behavior of others; telling about oneself; using forms of personal expression and social inter action; finding out about things; communicating something for the information of othe rs; and, relating to contexts of use as speaker, listener, writer, and reader) (cf. Wallat 1984, p. 24-25). Essentially, those who speak and write for public audiences are attempting to solve the problem of creating what


11 of 33discourse researchers refer to as the 'textual' fun ction, whereby [oral and written] language becomes text, is related to itself and to its conte xt of use. Without the textual component of meaning, we should be unable to make any use of lan guage at all. (Halliday 1973, p. 44) Halliday's (1973) definition of functions of langu age in Table 3 is essentially a proposal to adopt a functional viewpoint and, there by gain ideas about how "meaning is related both to the internal structure of language and to the social contexts in which language operates" (p.8). Functionally the choice of a word or phrase "may have one meaning, its repetition another and its location in structure ye t another" (p. 109). More specifically, there is a professional development benefit which is deri ved from awareness of the functions and formats of special languages or codes across partic ipant structures; it is an appreciation of the multiple resources which results from the varia tions possible in both oral and written discourse forms, and the resources we can use to me et the myriad demands made on participants' communicative competence (cf. Cazden 1986, p. 437). Language per se is ambiguous. Discourse researchers have presented some interest ing examples of miscommunication that can be traced to the ambiguity of language. Of particular interest to readers interested in furthe r considering Popkewitz' conclusion about the conditions necessary for long lasting contribut ions that linking development and policy research can make to academic disciplines (see Pers pective section above), are studies that build upon the definition of "ambiguous" in Table 3 For example, a study at the Center for the Study of Writing (University of California, Ber keley) illustrated how educational policy analysts can create opportunities to analyze a larg e number of different reform polices aimed at inducing change by targeting major components of the instructional methods that are at the core of schooling ( i.e., assignments, tests, g rades, distribution criteria). Fillore and O'Connor (1986) combined knowledge gained from deca des of policy research on schools as social systems and cultural systems resistant to ch ange, with decades of language research discussions on how prevailing instructional assessm ent frameworks can be approached in terms of calls for socially responsible testing and assessment in a culturally pluralistic society. They demonstrated language ambiguity by il lustrating the various ways students justify their choices for answers on reading and wr iting tests. Following Chafe's (1977), Florio's and Shultz' (1979) investigations of produ ction and comprehension from the conceptual vantage point of language per se is ambi guous, Filmore and O'Conner's direction for policy studies of instructional assessment poin ted out that there are differences in how individuals choose to make summarizing statements a bout the same topics. Among the choices identified to date are: (a) begin by summar izing an event and then giving details, or (b) build up details and then present the summary a t the end (Filmore and O'Conner 1986). These discourse forms--or arrangements of sentences --are just another way of demonstrating and illustrating Freedle's (1980) compilation of fi ndings across ethnographic studies of language use: first, that language forms are necess arily incomplete in specifying the full intentions of writers and speakers and so individua ls choose schemas to help guide their selection for an answer; and, second, that language per se is ambiguous and so to comprehend an oral and written text individuals mus t necessarily initiate some interpretative frames to fill in needed information. In other words, the concept of language per se is ambiguous is a schema/frame that is useful as a metacommunication tool for answering wh at must the next generation of policy analysts consider ... what can they strive to do in order to: (a) realize that what is not said is as important as what is said, (b) recognize the imp ortance of ambiguity for creating choices or options, and (c) recognize the evolving nature o f meaning, perhaps by considering LakoffÂ’s image of a three-sided triangle. Interpretative frames. The Table 3 glossary defines interpretative frames visible in and across functions of language. The definition is presented along with two questions to


12 of 33guide discovery of what is visible in and across fu nctions of language that will be encountered in the social contexts policy researche rs target for data gathering. The demonstrate that the concept of interpretative fram es can be effectively used to develop inquiry statements for studying communication and c hange across the time frame of educational evaluation and policy analysis projects (cf. Freedle 1980; Hymes 1979; Gumperz & Cook-Gumperz 1982). This goal, of course, sounds quite ambitious. However, identifying and using language and policy concepts in research essentially involves making explicit the discourse resources we all have. For e xample, the chances of becoming explicitly aware of the idea of interpretative fram e (and linking this concept to professional actions) seems particularly optimistic given the fa ct that educational policy researchers have had experience in using this language resource. One observation in research utilization literature is that different consequences can be an ticipated from an author's use of academic, bureaucratic, or legal features of language (cf. Wa llat & Piazza 1991). For many, these implicit understandings of the construction of mean ing, and meaning in context, undergird their choice of specific discourse devices to persu ade, inform, proclaim, or develop an argument. In other words, the conventions used to h elp make intent and meaning connections in the audiences' mind essentially adds up to constructing an interpretative frame. This brief illustration of interpretative frame sh ows that intelligibility, or dealing with ambiguity, is not contingent upon finding an illusi ve set of "perfectly clear words" to connect intent and meaning. Rather the constraints and contingencies individuals take into account in constructing an interactive frame are th e resources used to help disambiguate the authors' or speakers' intent (cf. Gumperz 1982a, 19 82b; Wallat & Piazza 1991; Grimshaw 1987 ). Schema/frames. Discourse theory and research address the conseque nces of background and other interactive experiences appare nt during particular institutional routines in educational, health, and social service s. Notions of knowledge structure and interpretation have been the object of study for a long time, and recent formulations of the concepts of frame and schema try to capture cogniti ve and socio-cultural dimensions of variations in and across contexts. For example, a r ecent attempt to answer how can we study comprehensive services for children and families bu ilt on the definition of schema/frames presented in Table 3. The idea of static schemas as personal understandings, relationships, values, goals, and interests held by individuals (i n this case professionals and parents schemas about education and health, and what an edu cational and medical service should or can do to deal with educational or health matters) was combined with the idea of interpretative frames to investigate the ways in wh ich activities conducted and actions taken in a comprehensive services identified and dealt wi th ambiguity and a mosaic of schemas (cf. Tannen & Wallat 1993). Participant structure. There are several possible ways to arrange silence or articulation of multiple schemas and interpretative frames within the basic framework of verbal and nonverbal communication use in public li fe, including attempts to plan and deliver comprehensive services. Philips (1993) refe rs to these arrangements as "participant structure." These structural arrangements of discou rse may fall into many different categories. In one type of participant structure on e individual may address the entire group, or the talk may flow as if first come first s erved reporting turns were being taken. Other participant structure arrangements include attentio n focused on one-to-one encounters between individuals, or attention focused on specif ic materials. Studies of participant structures have identified an extensive set of context cues and strategies individuals use to constitute participan t structures. At the same time such studies point to the use of a variety of meanings or interp retations for these context cues by both the


13 of 33researchers conducting the study and those particip ating in the project. Understandings of variant features of language use have led to new de scriptions of the most common ways people verbally or nonverbally acknowledge and inco rporate, or fail to incorporate or ratify, speakers utterances in and across participant struc tures (cf. Wallat 1984). Identifying and considering these cues and strategies can provide u nderstandings of the links between the enactment of a particular policy and the participan t structures in use during a project. Construction of social norms. Giving recognition to identifying and considering the social and cognitive processes related to presentin g information and group problem solving across participant structures centers on recognitio n of individuals as interpreters of their world(s) and as sources of influence on others. Bas ed on this conceptualization, and in light of research on participant structures, the concept of construction of social and cognitive norms as process is proposed in discourse studies t o contrast the view of norms as a discrete set of rules inculcated into passive participants ( Wallat & Green 1982). As the definition in Table 3 points out, individuals must negotiate a co mplex system of arbitrary norms and rules within the forms of communication in today's social institutions. Norms and rules are arbitrary in the sense that definitions of the mean ings of social situations, and situations in which not all rules and expectations are clearly st ated, are evolving. Research analysis of social groups have added to the growing appreciatio n of norms of discourse as rules which can be modified, checked, suspended, terminated, an d recommenced. These variable "correctness" rules for written discourse can be ad ded to our understanding of variable "correctness" rules about speech: when to speak, ho w to speak (i.e., what gestures, movements, intonation, stress, and pitch features s hould be used), how to get a turn, how to digress from a topic appropriately, and to whom mes sages should be addressed. In order to establish and maintain social interaction, the part icipants must have agreed upon signals for beginning and ending a single social occasion. Ther efore, the problem facing those concerned with identifying variable social norms or sociolinguistic rules for knowing when to speak is to capture the elements of a group's sy stem of signaling coordination conventions including not only verbal statements but the partic ipant's gestures in relation to objects or other persons in the environment (cf. Wallat & Gree n 1982, p. 101, 118). Enactment of routines. One routine interpretation task that flows from at tempts to construct social norms through changes in policy is the placement of children, youth, and adults in a host of human service programs (Szanton 1995). The way in which such everyday decisions are reached (or how information regarding these decisions is distributed in institutional settings), cannot be described simply by adding a few more factors to a comprehensive services model or to a model of socia l operation. Mehan's (1984) explication of the concept of enactment of routines defined in Table 3 suggests several possibilities for advancing our knowledge of an organization's functi ons in relation to changes in policy. The use of this concept in educational policy studies c ould help us consider how policy can be understood less as a set of "acts," "choices," and searches for "reasons" and "motives" and more as end results or consequences of variation in functions of language, interpretative frames and participants structures. Such study can stem from two interests. The first interest, as introduced above, is conceptual; to redefine pro duction of policy reports as both an analytical and political opportunity for identifyin g certain social practices as symbolic of frames, participant structures and language functio ns that can signal to policy researchers possible interpretations held by individuals about policy objectives, choices and consequences. The second interest, also implied abo ve, is practical. The next generation of policy researchers can be the benefactors of advanc es in understanding the advances in understanding the benefits and constraints of varia tions in our ideologies about language use as evident in the enactment of routines. The scienc e of linguistics has been tied to investigating ideology through its concern with dis covering and describing units of linguistic


14 of 33form; structures or patterns in which such forms ar e defined and situated; and the roles or functions that these units or forms serve in these structures (Fillmore 1985). The idea of a place for discussion about forms and functions is g enerally referred to as practical knowledge or metacommunication. The concept of enac tment of routines, in combination with other concepts included in Table 3, fills in s ome of the detail of Popkewitz's (1991) and Conquergood's (1991) argument of the need to develo p social epistemology as a legitimate art of inquiry, and Bailey's (1979) admonishment th at educational policy researchers have simply got to learn something about rhetoric and st yle. Style shifts. One basis for understanding participant structures and enactment of routines is semantics: How do people communicate an d interpret meaning in everyday action and conversation? Each person's decisions ab out which communication strategies to apply across different situations results in her/hi s characteristic style (e.g., That style, then, is made up of a range on the continuum: the particular degree of camaraderie or deference in response to the situation, the people participating the subject at hand, and so on). "Each person's notion of what strategy is appropriate to apply is influenced by a combination of family background and other interactive experience" (Tannen 1984, p. 14). In terms of written discourse, we can arrive at ne w qualitative insights and new notions about our own and our colleagues' extensive communicative competence through the consideration of multiple definitions of style found in the literature, and the multiple approaches which have been created for understandin g patterns established in a spoken or written text and the functions of the text. Communicative competence. Studies of communicative competence have helped to widen the lens of both theory and research on what components of communication resources (besides grammatical diversity, stylistic resources and options, and interpretative processes) are essential in everyday life. It is generally acc epted empirically, for example, that outsiders who enter a new demographic or professional scene h ave to ask "What's happening here?" and may have to adapt or shift linguistic codes in order for their policy project to be considered appropriate. Gumperz (1982a; 1982b) has discussed the theoretical and practical aspects of entry and access as "establishing a succ essfully negotiated frame of reference." He illustrates this concept through reports of what is going on across multiple bureaucratic, business, and judicial contexts. In each of these p olicy study related investigations, the researchers efforts at locating the overall institu tional frame of reference began with time and effort spent on reaching agreement with informa nts on what activity both parties believed was being enacted. As Gumperz points out, outsiders who enter a new demographic or professional scene have generally learned a new code at the level of lexicon, and this knowledge will be sufficient for the instrumental c ontacts that fill up much of their project working day. But situations of persuasion, involvin g the ability to explain, describe, or narrate, are often difficult to manage. Here breakd owns tend to lead to mutual stereotyping and pejorative evaluations. To be sure not all prob lems of inter [group] contact are communicative in nature. Economic factors, differen ces in goals and aspirations, as well as other historical and cultural factors may be at iss ue. (Gumperz 1982c, p. 331) But there is reason to suspect that a significant number of communication breakdowns may be due to the failure to establish a successfully negotiated frame of interpretation. This neglect of variation in indivi dual and social styles has been identified in studies of: participant structure differences acros s contexts (e.g., Green 1983; Cazden 1986); interactive frames and knowledge structure schemas across contexts (e.g., Tannen & Wallat 1993); and characteristics of dozens of visible inf ormation cues (or what sociolinguists refer to as contextualization cues), that have been illum inated in a range of communicative contexts (cf., Wallat 1984). According to studies o f language in public life designed and conducted by Professor John Gumperz (1982a; 1982b), breakdowns can be traced to a lack


15 of 33of time and effort spent by the researchers and inf ormants on reaching agreement on what activity is being enacted and how it is conducted. Distinctions among such activities as chatting, dis cussing, and lecturing exist in all cultures, but each culture has its own constrai nts not only on content but also on the ways in which particular activities are carr ied out and signaled. Even within a culture, what one person would identify as 'lecturing' another might interpret as 'chatting with one's child.'.... Since speech activities are realized in action and since their identification is a function of ethnic and communicative background, special problems arise in modern societ y where people have widely varying communicative and cultural backgrounds. How can we be certain that our interpretation of what activity is being signal ed is the same as the activity that the interlocutor has in mind, if our communica tive backgrounds are not identical? (Gumperz 1982a, p. 166-167) SECTION TWO SUMMARY The illustrative definitions included in Table 3 pr ovide an overview of basic concepts researchers have identified, defined, and used in a pplying sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, conversational analysis and ethnography o f communication methods in studies of educational issues (e.g., Briggs 1986; Erickson 197 5; Gumperz and Cook-Gumperz 1982; Gumperz & Hymes 1972; Mishler 1986). More important ly, perhaps, Table 3 illustrates social constructs that provide a rationale and fram ework for investigating how oral and written discourses actually work across institution al settings. This set of key concepts may also begin to help those interested in educational policy issues become sensitive to observing, rather than taking for granted, communic ative actions throughout a project. They are offered not for the sake of detailed analysis o f oral and written phenomena in the sites and activities encompassed by a project, but becaus e they may shed light upon the perennial problem of accounting for the variety of ways in wh ich oral and written communicative behavior is organized in interaction in different s ituations. The final section provides an elaboration of the i dea that researchers and policy makers often have different "definitions of a situa tion." Using the concepts presented in Table 3 we discuss the particular functions served by two approaches to early childhood education and policy analysis. The choice of these two approaches was based on the data presented in Table 1, that is to consider two appro aches which appeared the most often in EEPA during the fifteen year review period reported in here. USING A COMMUNICATIVE FRAMEWORK: AN APPLICATION ACR OSS TWO EXAMPLES OF POLICY REPORT FUNCTIONS Throughout the first fifteen years of EEPA's publi cation, contributors have suggested a need to develop a conceptual framework that takes into account variations in perspectives and meanings held by clients and audience. (cf. Bol land & Bolland 1984; Borich 1983; Felter 1986; Hayman, Rayder, Stenner & Madley 1979; Hood 1985; House 1979a, 1979b; Kelly 1980; Kenny 1982; Lynch 1983; Maxwell 1984; P age 1979; Sadler 1985; Shapiro 1985; Stake 1981; Stufflebeam & Webster 1980; Willi ams 1986; Wortman 1982). We turn now to showing how the communication concepts discu ssed can be specifically applied to the various policy approaches identified in EEPA. W e use two examples, accountability and case study. Descriptions of ACCOUNTABILITY projects range from costbenefit studies for


16 of 33monitoring the use of funds (Kean & Scanlon 1979: H ouse 1979b; Warfield 1994); to projects aimed at meeting technical requirements su ch as computing percentages and setting cutoff scores (Nations 1982; Smith 1982); to develo ping systems for keeping records of attendance, expenditures, and test scores in order to disseminate evaluation results, identify exemplary programs, or find the simplest way to mee t state and federal requirements (Barnes & Ginsburg 1979; David 1981; Dougherty 1979 ; Nations 1982; venderPloeg 1982); to projects concerned with providing constituents w ith an accurate accounting of results (Stufflebeam & Webster 1980), or a demonstration of "the responsiveness and the political responsibility of public school institutions" (Cohe n, 1979 p.59). Additional indicators that accountability is an evolving social invention in e valuation approaches include its role in justifying action(s) or serving as the raison d'etr e for protracted negotiation at Congressional and agency levels (Benveniste 1985; Cross 1979; Hou se 1979b; Stonehill and Grover 1983). When asked why this burgeoning of educational eval uation has occurred since 1970, Gorwin and Green (1980) answered that the phenomeno n arose and developed itself out of a process of extended legislative authority that requ ired something called an evaluation. In contrast (i.e., in an academic rather than a politi cal interpretive frame), Stufflebeam and Webster (1980), answered the same question by sugge sting that the extension of evaluation into accountability studies was the result of the p ioneering efforts of Lessinger in his 1970 book Every Kid A Winner: Accountability in Education. Development and policy research readers have the o pportunity to make up their own minds as to whether the developments in accountabil ity functions are due to specific legislative acts or specific academic accomplishmen ts, or whether they result from countless face-to-face encounters involving evaluation at Con gressional, Federal agency, State agency, and local levels. At least eight policy researchers who report on accountability developments in early childhood provide close up views of how ac countability provisions are created and modified across these levels. Each provides a uniqu e contextual interpretation of what actually goes on across policy arenas (Barnes and G insberg 1979; Cross 1979; House 1979a; Marshall, Mitchell & Wirt 1986; Sacken & Medina 199 0; Slavin & Madden 1991; Stonehill and Grover 1983; venderPloeg 1982; Wells & Peterson 1992; Wirt, Mitchell & Marshall 1988 ). Overall, when reading the discussion of pro cedures in accountability articles in volumes one through sixteen, one discovers new unde rstandings of the many facets of communicative processes that enhance or diminish co mpliance and the impact of law. As Kaufman (1984) has noted, those who are attempting to deal with questions of law must contend with all the drama, confusion, failure, and achievement that constitutes interpreting the meaning and purposes of a particular statute. Several concepts from communication theory and res earch may be particularly useful for educational researchers in dealing with the par adox of law that law never is, but is always about to be realized when embodied in a judg ment. The concept of INTERPRETATIVE FRAMES is particularly useful since its purpose is to help explain variations in participants' judgments in the interp retation of discourses. This concept also helps focus such accountability research tasks as h ow to deal with multiple interpretation processes that individuals may use to frame their u nderstanding of the relation of law to action. Not only would it be possible to consider n ew indicators of policy terms such as "impact", but the adoption of an analytical stance that includes interpretative frame and STYLE OPTIONS/ SHIFTS would help researchers accoun t for the language related tasks all accountability projects now only implicitly are able to include in project cost estimates: (a) constructing an understanding of the contours a nd contexts in which a legal point arose, (b) constructing an understanding of the complex in terplay of language and intent, and (c) constructing an understanding of the complex strand s of thought that individuals use in relation to law in action (cf. Wallat 1987).


17 of 33 Concepts such as FRAMES/SCHEMA could add a discour se perspective starting point to educational evaluation accountability appr oaches to determining whether particular policies were in fact accomplishing specific object ives of a law. For example, mandates for collaboration have been included in policy since th e mid-1980's. The contribution of a communicative framework to determining the conseque nces of collaboration on the forms of communication which take place between providers, a nd between providers and clients, has been demonstrated. Research that includes the conce pts of "frames" to refer to the anthropological/sociological notion of interactive frames of interpretation, and "schema" to refer to the psychological/artificial intelligence notion of knowledge schemas, have been included in the design of studies of family and chi ld development centers (Tannen & Wallat 1993). Findings from such studies suggest that over lapping, competing, and possibly conflicting frames are inherent in the structure of parent/professional interaction in particular and communication in general. These are forces at w ork that can at times create problems in the best of all possible educational, health, or so cial worlds. Perhaps the clearest example of how educational po licy study discourse functions have been created, modified, expanded, or transform ed during the past fifteen years is the variety of meanings of the term accountability legi slation. In 1980, Kirst and Jung pointed out that one largely overlooked issue in policy res earch is knowing "how to extract knowledge from the information we already have" (p. 31). In their example of how attention can be focused in policy work, knowledge is equated with a survey of the language of policy documents, including relevant statutes and subseque nt amendments, original regulations and subsequent modifications, audit checklists on compl iance reports, legislature hearings, and public documents that detail key sequences of event s. Such documentary analysis provides a means of developing a manageable data scope for tra cing changes in a legal framework over time. Some of the reasons why accountability evalua tion enables tracing changes in initial legislation and affiliated legal documents, or enab les detecting shifts in objectives and priorities, are simply due to the FUNCTIONS OF lega l language; legal writers attempts to deal with the AMBIGUOUS nature of language, and the CONSTRUCTION OF NORMS for the STYLE of judicial discourse. As Kirst and J ung point out, statutes often are formulated with deliberately obfuscated language to broaden political support for legislation: Winning coalitions are often held together by the a dhesive of ambiguous language which successfully masks unresolved differ ences among competing interest groups and legislators. Statutes are as he avily laced with symbolic rhetoric as they are replete with allocative formul ae and regulatory prescriptions.... Therefore, in order to detect shi fts in objectives and priorities, it is also necessary to closely analyze those document s which, in essence, operationalize the symbolic import characteristics of most statutes. These include regulations, mandatory and explanatory crit eria, guidelines, technical assistance packages, audit check lists, application forms, evaluation mechanisms, and complaint resolution processes. (Ki rst & Jung 1980,p.29) Development and policy researchers who need to ana lyze legal documents are reminded that the functions served by legal style f eatures (use of archaic words, infusion of ordinary words such as "real property" with specifi c legal meaning, use of embedded clauses) require one to shift gears in the frame of reference or schema they use in reading. The function of legal language is "to allow one exp ert to register information for scrutiny by another" in contrast to the function of other texts one may read (such as plans for an organized activity for children and their families) (Crystal & Davy 1969, p 193). CASE STUDY projects reported in EEPA also provide clear examples of how an


18 of 33approach is affected by new creations, modification s, expansions and transformations of the meanings of its functions. Researchers such as Biss ell (1979), Monti (1979), Mercurio (1979), Kirst and Jung (1980), Porter (1983), and M azzoni and Clugston (1987), have formulated arguments regarding the usefulness of id entifying how variable strategies of administration enable a new policy to be introduced into a school district's routines while change is avoided; how field study techniques used in case studies could provide a sense of expanding dimensions of citizen involvement mandate d in a variety of compensatory education programs; how case studies can be useful for identifying the language of state-wide reform efforts and policy enactment vari ables and mapping relations among these variables; and, how use of an interactionist perspe ctive in doing case studies would result in documentation of different interpretations of an ed ucation innovation rather than reporting one "correct" interpretation or description. Other researchers who have written about case stud y have tried to detail some common communicative elements in data collection pr ocedures (e.g., primarily interview based), some common problems to expect in any attem pt to achieve a comparative analysis of situations or sites (Alkin and Daillak 1979; Sad ler 1985), some general format/style categories to use in writing up case studies (Barne tte 1983) and some possibilities for how a case study evaluation of evaluations conducted over a ten or thirteen year period could pull together alternative views and identify new indicat ors of impact without the cost of collecting new data (St. Pierre 1982; Kirst and Jun g 1980). A central issue of the case study is what it means to describe a process. It is almost a platitude to say that the meaning of a process depe nds upon its context, or whatever factors or curriculum content in the learning environment t he research directs attention to. Researchers concerned with understanding variabilit y across sites and cases all agree that determining processes, or what is meant at any one point in time, depends upon finding empirical methods capable of determining the extent to which underlying knowledge and behavioral norms are shared (cf. Gumperz 1982a). Th eir experiences with discourse analysis methodologies suggest that "all participants must b e able to fit individual contributions into some overall theme roughly corresponding to a cultu rally identifiable activity, or a combination of these, and agree on relevant behavio ral norms" (Gumperz 1982a, p. 163). This idea, or the concepts of PARTICIPANT STRUCTURE CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL NORMS, and ENACTMENT OF ROUTINES seems parti cularly useful for helping focus case study researchers on the value o f drawing on comparative data on the ordinary parts of a school's work day: on what scho ol personnel do, how much they do, and how they produce forms of social organization and t hereby construct such recognizable characteristics as not solving a problem, marking s omething as problematic, or bringing to public notice what everyone knew anyway. In other w ords, with adoption of a communicative framework, case study policy research ers can contribute to understandings of what adopting an educational schema/frame actual ly means as an observable, interactional feature of daily public life (cf. And erson, Hughes, and Sharrock 1987). These researchers' work suggests that an individua l enacting a case study discourse function essentially follows a communicative policy -analysis model by focusing detailed attention on a limited number of policy questions t hat have salience across locations and settings. Among the questions early childhood evalu ators and policy researchers have addressed are : How does the community and staff re act to and/or perceive a policy such as the California reforms which focused on elementary mathematics? ( Ball 1990; Cohen 1990; Peterson 1990). Case studies of the California atte mpt to create substantial change in instruction to foster deeper understanding of mathe matics and to improve students' capacity to reason mathematically revealed the complexity of teachers interpretative frames on mathematics learning. They also exposed the tangled influences of policy and the difficulties


19 of 33inherent in communicating the California Mathematic s Curriculum Framework policy. SECTION THREE SUMMARY Those who attempt to practice using concepts such a s FUNCTIONS OF LANGUAGE, LANGUAGE PER SE IS AMBIGUOUS, INTERPRETAT IVE FRAMES, SCHEMA/ FRAMES, PARTICIPANT STRUCTURES, CONSTRUCTIO N OF SOCIAL NORMS, ENACTMENT OF ROUTINES, STYLE OPTIONS/ SHIFTS will find that the case studies of the California reforms as well as r ecent case studies of Title 1/Chapter One (C. de Baca, Rinaldi, Billig, & Kinneson 1991; Winf ield 1991) lend themselves to thinking about the multiple examples of the language resourc es individuals use in public life. Use of these concepts may also bring to mind the value of new evaluation and policy analysis which addresses questions such as: What sort of preparati ons can be made in a school under legal mandate? What does the policy look like in practice across multiple interactions? What type of curriculum is in use, and what, if any, changes can be made in it? What type of policy do parents and teachers really want? How much time are they willing to give to deal with consequences which can be traced to the use of ever yday language? As demonstrated in the accountability and case stud y studies published in the first fifteen years of publication of one educational eva luation and policy studies journal, multiple references to communication activities are made within these approaches. The illustration of language and policy concepts in the review of the discourse function of accountability and case study evaluation and policy analysis suggest that development and policy researchers can act on advice to learn more about participation processes; participants' points of view and definitions of situation; and am biguous features of language in policy documents, in evolving social structures, and in di fferent value perspectives (cf. Cousins and Earl 1992). In effect these evaluation and policy r esearch concerns, and the set of concepts included in the communicative framework presented, describe a venue that can be undertaken through further consideration of the rel ationship between language and policy by a new generation of "methodologically multilingual" professions. FINAL THOUGHTS FOR PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: THE CAS E FOR LINKING DEVELOPMENT AND POLICY RESEARCH As illustrated in propositions such as "a reinvest ment cycle," the issues at stake in child and family policy go well beyond understandin g established technical criteria for defining the kind of academic information which can be provided and the cognitive features measured (cf. Oakes 1989). To persuade the U.S. pub lic that infancy, preschool, early education and other services for children and famil ies are effective, professionals have been called upon since the early 1980Â’s to expand their research into the complexities of linking development and public policy issues (Datta 1983, p 144). The point of this article has been that the major challenge for the next generation of development and policy researchers is to be well ve rsed in the social-communicative functions served by available approaches in educati onal evaluation and policy analysis, methodologically multilingual in using the forms of multiple approaches with consumer and policy audiences, and capable of articulating varia ble interpretations of educational outcomes. To help set solutions to this challenge, this arti cle suggested how studies of language and policy can help policy researchers do two thing s: (a) consider evaluation and policy analysis approaches as social inventions that serve a range of communicative functions, and


20 of 33(b) consider the link between child and family deve lopment research and policy analysis and discourse literature through use of a set of commun icative concepts that provide the foundation for meeting the demand for a participato ry policy discourse, including insiders accounts of events, objects and actions.End Notes1. See Conquergood (1991) for review of contributio ns to explicating these concepts which are included in "boundary" perspectives across stud ies 2. Many attempts have been made to classify researc h questions into propositions defined as the varieties of linkage between determinants and r esults, e.g., ZETTERBERG, H.L. (1965) On theory and verification in sociology. (Totowa, N J: The Bedminster Press), or, following Aristotle, as classes of predicates that might be f ormed about educational research and educational policy research in particular (e.g., DI LLON, J. T. (1984) "The classification of research questions". Review of Educational Research 54 (3), pp. 327 361; SMITH, N. L. & MUKHERJEE, P. (1994) "Classifying research questi ons addresses in evaluation studies". Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysi s, 16 (2), pp. 223 230). For examples of propositions within a language perspective see : SILVERMAN, D. & TORODE, B. (1980) The material word: Some theories of language and its limits. (Boston : Routledge & Kegan Paul); GOODENOUGH, W. H. (1990) "Evolution of the human capacity for beliefs". American Anthropologist, 92 (3), pp. 597 612.3. Identification of benefits such as increases in school success, employability, and self-esteem; returns of $4.75 in lowering costs of special education for $1.00 investment in preschool; decreases in the $3000 cost of repeating a grade; and savings of $1560 per disabled pupil because of early education intervent ion, have been associated with Congressional members endorsement of programs desig ned for children from birth through the first few years of elementary school as "Opport unities for Success" (Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families 1985, Washington, D .C.).ReferencesAlkin, M. C., & Dallak, R. H. (1979). A study of ev aluation utilization. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 1 (4), 41-49. Anderson, R. J., Hugher, J. A., & Sharrock, W. W. ( 1987). Executive problem solving : Some material and initial observations. Social Psychology Quarterly, 50(2), 143-159. Atkinson, P. (1990). The ethnographic imagination: textual construction of reality. New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc.Bailey, S. T. (1979). Current educational policy an alysis: An insight [Interview]. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 1 (3), 95100. Ball,L. D. (1990). Reflections and deflections of p olicy: The case of Carol Turner. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 12, (3), 247 260. Barnes, R. E., & Ginsbury, A. L. (1979). Relevance of the RMC Models for Title I policy concerns. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 1(2), 7-14.


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28 of 33Porter, P. (1980). Policy perspective on the study of educational innovations. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 2(4), 7384. Quie A. H. (1979). Educational policy legislation [ Interview]. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 1 (4), 71-74. Rein, M. (1983). From policy to practice. New York: M. E. Sharp, Inc. Riesmann, C. K. (1993). Narrative analysis. Newbury Park, CA.: Sage Publications. Sacken, D. M. & Medinaa, M. (1990). Investigating t he context of state-level policy formation: A case study of Arizona's bilingual educ ation legislation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 12(4), 389402. Sadler, D.R. (1980). Conveying the findings of eval uative inquiry. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 2 (1), 53-57. Sadler, D. R. (1985). Evaluation, policy analysis a nd multiple case studies: Aspects of focus and sampling. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 7(2), 143-149. St. Pieere, R. G. (1982). Follow through: A case st udy in meta evaluation research. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 4(1), 47-55. Schubert, W. H. (1980). Recalibrating educational r esearch: Toward a focus on practice. Educational Researcher 9 (1), 17-24, 31. Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families. ( 1985, August). Opportunities for Success: Cost Effective Programs for Children. (Washington, D.C.: House of Representatives.) (H2 385, House Annex #2, 20515 ) Shapiro, J. Z. (1985). Evaluation research and prog ram evaluation : Where are we and where do we need to go. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 7(3), 245-248. Shapiro, J. P., Secor, C., & Butchart, A. (1983). I lluminative evaluation: Assessment of the transportability of a management training program f or women in higher education. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 5(4), 465-471. Shermerhorn, G.R. & Williams, R.G. (1979). An empir ical comparison of responsive and preordinate approaches to program evaluation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 1 (3), 55-60.Slavin, R. E., & Madden, N. A. (1991). Upping the s takes: Program improvement guidelines to reward appropriate practice. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 13, (4), 369379.Smith, N, L. (1980). Federal research on evaluation methods in health, criminal justice, and the military. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 2(4), 5359. Smith, N. L. (1992). [Review of Evaluation and educ ation: At quarter century]. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 14, (1), 93-97. Smith, N.L. (1982). The context of evaluation pract ice in state departments of education.


29 of 33Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 4 (3), 373-386. Smith, L. M., Dwyer, D. C., & Prunty, J. J. (1981). Observer role and field study knowledge : An essay review of usable knowledge and SAFARI I. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 3(3), 83-90. Stake, R. E. (1979). Counterpoint: More subjective! Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 1(1), 46-47. Stake, R. E. (1981a). Persuasions, not models. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 3(1), 83-84.Stevenson, H. W. & Siegel, A. E. (Eds.). (1984). Child development and social policy. Chicago, IL.: University of Chicago Press.Stonehill, R. M., & Groves, C. L. (1983). U.S. Depa rtment of Education policies and ESEA Title 1 evaluation utility: Changes in attitudes, c hanges in platitudes. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 5(1), 65-73. Stufflebeam, D. L., & Webster, W. J. (1980). An ana lysis of alternative approaches to evaluation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 2(3), 5-20. Swan, W. W. (1984). State policy and service achiev ements in early childhood special education. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 6(4), 425-434. Szanton, E. S. (1995). "Once upon a time..." public policy and families with infants and toddlers. Insights from the center for infants and parents 2 (1), 7-10 [ Teachers College, Columbia University, New York ]Takanishi. R. (1977). Federal involvement in early education (1933-1973): The need for historical perspectives. In L. G. Katz (Ed.), Current Topics in Early Education: Volume 1 (pp.139-163). (Norwood, NJ: Ablex Pub. Corp.)Tannen, D. (1984). Conversational style. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Tanner, D., & Wallat, C. (1983). Doctor/mother/chil d communication: Linguistic analysis of a pediatric interaction. In S. Fisher & A.L. Todd ( Eds.), The social organization of doctor-patient communication (pp. 203-220). Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.Tannen, D., & Wallat, C. (1993). Interactive frames and knowledge schemas in interaction. In D. Tannen (Ed.), Framing in discourse (pp. 57-76). New York: Oxford University Press. Thompson, B. (1981). Book review: Utilization of ev aluation information. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 3(3), 106-107. Timar, T. (1994). Federal education policy and prac tice: Building organizational capacity through Chapter 1. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 16, (1). 51-66. Turnbull, A. P. (1982). School mainstraming: A poli cy and implementation analysis. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 4(3), 281-291.


30 of 33vander Ploeg, A. J. (1982). ESEA Title I evaluation : The service of two masters. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 4(4), 521-526. Wallat, C. (1984). An overview of communicative com petence. In C. Rivera (Ed.), Communicative competence Approaches to Language Pro ficiency Assessment: Research and application (pp. 2-33). Avon, England: Multilingual Matters. Wallat, C. (1991a). Child-adult interaction in home and community : Contributions to understanding literacy. In S.Silvern (Ed.), Literacy through family, community, and school interaction Vol.5 advances in reading/language rese arch (pp. 1-36). Greenwich, CT.: JAI Press.Wallat, C. (1987). Literacy, language and schooling : State policy implications. In D. Bloome (Ed.), Literacy and schooling (pp. 291 309). Norwood, NJ.: Ablex Publishing Co. Wallat, C. (1991b, April). The Concept of "Social Context." Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, C hicago, IL. (Available as Educational research directions 1990-1995: Extracts from descri ptions of primary tasks of OERI Centers from March 1990 RFP and 17 winning proposal s. Washington, D.C.: American Institutes for Research, ERIC Clearinghouse on Test s, Measurement, and Evaluation. [Clearinghouse No. TMO 17371] ) Wallat, C. (1989). Policymaking and linguistic analysis in education. Unpublished manuscript. Florida State University Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies.Wallat, C., & Green, J. (1982). Construction of soc ial norms by teachers and children: The first year of school. The social life of children in a changing society (pp. 97-122). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Wallat, C., & Piazza, C. (1991). Perspectives on pr oduction of written educational policy reports. Journal of Education Policy 6, (1), 63-84. Wallat, C., & Piazza, C. (1989). Policy implication s related to teaching and learning mathematics and science. In C. Emihovich (Ed.), Locating learning: Ethnographic perspectives on classroom research (pp. 240 262). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Pub. Corp. Wallat, C., & Piazza, C. (1988). The classroom and beyond: Issues in the analysis of multiple studies of communicative competence. In J. L. Green & J O. Harker (Eds.), Multiple perspective analysis of classroom discours e (pp. 309 342). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Pub. Corp.Wallat, C., & Steele C. I. (1995a). Dilemmas of family participation in comprehensive services. Manuscript submitted for publication. Wallat, C., & Steele, C. I. (1995b). The call to pay attention to family diversity: Constructing a response. Manuscript submitted for publication. Warfield, M. E. (1994). A cost effectiveness analys is of early intervention services in Massachusetts: Implications for policy. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 16, 1, 87-99.


31 of 33Wehmeyer, L. B. (1979). Program evaluation for poli cysetting. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 1(5), 66-71. Weiss, C. H. (1980). [An EEPA Interview with Carol H. Weiss]. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 2 (5), 75-79. Wells, F. G. & Peterson, K. D. (1992). External pre ssures for reform and strategy formation at the district level: Superintendents' interpretat ions of state demands. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 14 (3), 241-260. Wildavsky, A. (1977). Principles for a graduate sch ool of public policy. Urban Analysis 4, 3-28.Williams, D. D. (1986). Naturalistic evaluation: Po tential conflicts between evaluation standards and criteria for conducting naturalistic inquiry. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 8(1), 8799. Winfield, L. W. (1991). Lessons from the field: Cas e studies of evolving schoolwide projects. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 13 (4), 353-362. Wirt, F. M., & KIRST, M.W. (1972). The political web of american schools. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.Wirt, F., Mitchell D., Marshall, C. (1988). Culture and educational policy: Analyzing values in state policy systems. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 10 (4), 271-284. Wolf, R. L. (1979). The use of judicial evaluation methods in the formulation of educational policy. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 1(3), 19-37. Wood, K. C., Peterson, S. E., Degracie, J. S., & Za haris, J. K. (1986). The jury is in: Use of a modified legal model for school program evaluatio n. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 8(3), 309315. Wortman, P. M. (1982). Book review : Evaluating wit h validity. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 4(1), 122-125. 16About the AuthorsCynthia WallatDepartment of Educational Foundations and Policy St udies 306 Stone BuildingTallahassee, FL. 32306 4070E-Mail: cwwallat@garnet.acns.fsu.eduCynthia Wallat is Professor of Social Sciences and Education in the Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies at Flori da State University. Her research emphasis and publications address: socialization an d language; comparative social policy;


32 of 33 and institutional and professional development. Her interest in relating language and policy centers on demonstrating how attention to forms of communication and community can address the known and unknown about diversity in an d out of school. Carolyn PiazzaCarolyn Piazza is Associate Professor of Reading / Language Studies in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice. Her teaching and r esearch emphasis includes: written discourse forms and functions; writing as a social process; writing development; and assessment. Her interest in relating language resea rch to policy work includes analysis of the production of written education policy reports and language and equity issues, including women's styles of writing.Copyright 1997 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. (602-965-26 92). The Book Review Editor is Walter E. Shepherd: The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Andrew Coulson Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Marshall University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Richard M. Jaeger University of North Carolina--Greensboro Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba


33 of 33 Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Rocky Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education William McInerney Purdue University Mary P. McKeown Arizona Board of Regents Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson Arizona State University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers University of California at Davis Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven Robert E. Stake University of Illinois--UC Robert Stonehill U.S. Department of Education Robert T. Stout Arizona State University


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