Educational Policy Analysis – Journal #3

This week we had a discussion of the reading: Framing Policy Discourse Chapter by Martin Rein and Donald Schön.

Before we started discussing this week’s reading, we reflected on and revised last week’s Fisher’s Editor’s Introduction. I find this practice very beneficial because as much as it serves to recap, it also addresses any misunderstanding and any unclear ideas/terms/concepts. The fact that some people did not actually understand what the main idea of argumentation is (the whole reading) was the purpose of these reflective and revision-based activities. I think this is a practice I would think about adopting in my own teaching, when I do teach. The whole ‘picking where we left off’ has a lot of benefits for students and teachers alike but saying the same thing as last week would not be quite as beneficial.

I would, however, like to be critical of this particular exercise, and maybe only in this context. We spent a whole hour, of the 2.5 hours of our weekly class, to talk about the same things we talked about last week and read the same passages because one  student did not understand what argumentation is or what the introduction was about. I understand that this is the base of the whole semester and the professor wanted to make absolutely sure that everyone gets a strong and clear understanding of this reading because that would be determine the proper understanding of the rest of the course readings and discussions. My problem though, is that I came into this class with many questions about THIS week’s reading and wanted to focus on understanding particular concepts related to framing. Yes, reading the introduction again is very important but I feel that it should be done outside of class and if someone has any issues they could ask it in class, provided that we don’t spend a long time explaining the core of the reading, that then is not a question; it’s more of a ‘explain the lesson again for me’.  And that is what i’m against. I don’t necessarily think this is my professor’s fault, because the intention is that everyone clearly gets this, I would put more fault on the student that come to class twice unprepared for the same article. (disclaimer: In no way do I mean any offense or attack towards my professor)

My own reflection is that it’s a reading that is full of definitions and explanation or introduction of new concepts. I am familiar with policy agendas with regards to political science and international relations but I have never been introduced to the idea of political framing such as in this reading, which was very interesting to me.

I really enjoyed the reading and found it very interesting and beneficial. But I was particularly annoyed that the authors did not give an example of a frame in the beginning or even towards the middle of the chapter. I would have appreciated having a couple of examples in mind while reading the chapter so that I sort of understand the following points in that context. An example doesn’t have to be very specific to a situation, but I would have appreciated a little context to interpret the reading through.

I liked the example the professor used to explain the general idea of a frame: eyeglasses. the tool through which you see the world. ButI think it’s also like an actual photo frame. That you’re a photo inside a picture frame and you’re looking out into the world. Even if someone is in another photo in the frame right next to you, they won’t see they world like you do, unless they are in the same photo frame in the same position.

The metaphor of the blue guitar in the reading was pretty cool. I understood it in the ‘c’est n’est pas une pipe’ photo.

image source:

So this is a photo of a pipe but it’s not a pipe in itself. So the blue guitar metaphor (the way I understand it) is kinda like this: you are playing a cover of the song, but not the song itself. So you have a guitar, it’s not the guitar that created this song basically, so whichever form anything is in at first, changes according to whoever utilizes it. You look at the world in a way and you bring your own kind of playing to it, but that’s not the same way that thing was initially created.

We are discussing the rest of this reading next week so i’ll post my reflections on that then 🙂 Ciao!

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2 Responses to Educational Policy Analysis – Journal #3

  1. Maha Bali says:

    I really like your photo frame metaphor and how when you’re inside a frame you aren’t necessarily able to see what others in another frame see


  2. Thank you Maha. I think what triggered this metaphor in my mind was the eyeglasses metaphor the professor talked about. I had originally written that ‘no one can have the same frame as you unless they are in the same photo frame, otherwise that would be practically impossible’ but I later found out that people can have the same frames you do, maybe not necessarily interpret things the same though, so the ‘practically impossible’ part would have been incorrect.


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