Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2013 Issue »

    From Bureaucracy to Profession

    Remaking the Educational Sector for the Twenty-First Century

    Jal Mehta
    From Bureaucracy to ProfessionIn this essay, Jal Mehta examines the challenges faced by American schooling and the reasons for persistent failure of American school reforms to achieve successful educational outcomes at scale. He concludes that many of the problems faced by American schools are artifacts of the bureaucratic form in which the education sector as a whole was cast: “We are trying to solve a problem that requires professional skill and expertise by using bureaucratic levers of requirements and regulations.” Building on research from a variety of fields and disciplines, Mehta advances a “sectoral” perspective on education reform, exploring how this shift in thinking could help education stakeholders produce quality practice across the nation.

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    Jal Mehta is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His primary research interest is in understanding what it would take to create high-quality schooling at scale, with a particular interest in the professionalization of teaching. He is the author of The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling (Oxford University Press, 2013) and coeditor, with Robert Schwartz and Frederick Hess, of The Futures of School Reform (Harvard Education Press, 2012). He is currently working on two projects: In Search of Deeper Learning, a contemporary study of schools, systems, and nations that are seeking to produce ambitious instruction, and The Chastened Dream, a history of the effort to link social science to social policy to achieve social progress.
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    Fall 2013 Issue

    Abstracts

    After Fisher v. University of Texas
    Implications for Education Research, Theory, and Practice
    From the Editors
    McIntosh as Synecdoche
    How Teacher Education’s Focus on White Privilege Undermines Antiracism
    Timothy J. Lensmire, Shannon K. McManimon, Jessica Dockter Tierney, Mary E. Lee-Nichols, Zachary A. Casey, Audrey Lensmire, and Bryan M. Davis
    Democracy under Fire
    Voter Confusion and Influences in Colorado’s Anti–Affirmative Action Initiative
    Amy N. Farley, Matthew N. Gaertner, and Michele S. Moses
    From Bureaucracy to Profession
    Remaking the Educational Sector for the Twenty-First Century
    Jal Mehta
    Dirt on My Record
    Rethinking Disciplinary Practices in an All-Black, All-Male Alternative Class
    Na’ilah Suad Nasir, kihana miraya ross, Maxine McKinney de Royston, Jarvis Givens, and Jalessa N. Bryant

    Book Notes

    Education, Justice, & Democracy
    Edited by Danielle Allen & Rob Reich

    Creating Innovators
    Tony Wagner (supplementary video material produced by Robert A. Compton)

    Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice
    Larry Cuban

    Youth Held at the Border
    Lisa (Leigh) Patel