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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26481

Title: Defying the Odds: Similarity and Difference in Canadian Elementary and Secondary Education
Authors: Wallner, Jennifer M.
Advisor: Simeon, Richard
Department: Political Science
Keywords: federalism
public policy
Issue Date: 8-Mar-2011
Abstract: This dissertation explains why and how, in the absence of direct federal participation, the Canadian provinces invest at comparable levels, achieve similar outcomes, and produce similar policies while simultaneously maintaining distinctive policy particularities in the elementary and secondary education sector. Given the limited national direction and the extensive autonomy afforded the Canadian provinces, for both students of federalism and education policy, the significant interprovincial similarities appearing across the subnational education sectors are a puzzle to be explained. I develop this analysis by exploring my puzzle in two comparative contexts: cross-nationally and longitudinally. To account for patterns of educational policy similarity and difference, the dissertation points to the movement of policy ideas across the provinces in response to their increasing legal, economic, organizational, and cultural interconnectedness. My dissertation argues that as interconnections among the provinces increased, the movement of policy ideas across the provinces intensified. As policy ideas moved, provincial governments would determine whether a policy from another jurisdiction could be suitable in their own. The subsequent decision to adopt the policy of another turned critically on both the existing relations between the jurisdictions and viability of the new idea within the internal policy context of the receiving jurisdiction. The basic conclusion of my work is that despite Canada’s highly decentralized federalism, there is a remarkable degree of convergence and similarity among the education sectors of the Canadian provinces.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26481
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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