International Journal of Comparative Education and Development | VOL. 24

Path-dependency and path-shaping in translation of borrowed policy: outsourcing of teaching in public schools in Hong Kong and South Korea

Publication Date Aug 30, 2022


PurposeThe study systematically analyses the path dependency and path-shaping of borrowed education policy, tracing it from the global through the national to individual schools. It also revisits the case schools after five years to map the school level policy paths.Design/methodology/approachRecently, path-dependency heuristics have drawn attention in predicting educational policy trajectories. However, these studies are primarily theoretical, and those empirical studies do not capture what happens at the school level. This paper fills the research gap by presenting a model that synthesises the research from diverse fields and is informed by findings from a longitudinal case study of educational outsourcing in public schools in Hong Kong and Korea.FindingsThe findings highlight path dependency interactions across educational levels diachronically and synchronically, while aptly incorporating the creative ways school leaders exercise their agency therein. The paper concludes with new insights into policy trajectory and education outsourcing.Originality/valueThe study substantiates and extends previously suggested theoretical models on the paths of travelling educational policies and identifies the factors that shape the paths. It also sheds light on how school leaders navigate the structures that constrain their actions or create a new path and pursue their educational goals.


Path Dependency Teaching In Public Schools Education Policy Public Schools Policy Trajectories School Leaders Educational Goals School Level Schools In Korea South Korea

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