Norman Fairclough's three-dimensional approach to discourse analysis is used in an evaluation of the ISLLC National Standards in Educational Administration and of the sample exam questions from Educational Testing Service produced test bulletin for the exam that was developed to enforce the Standards. The Standards themselves are found to contain a hodge-podge of 'floating signifiers', i.e. language that can mean different things to different people as well as language meant to please multiple constituencies. It is suggested that, as a legitimation strategy, the Standards might have political utility in the sense that it might shore up the field's declining legitimacy. The exam, complete with rubrics, is another matter. Implicit in the language of the exam is a focus on control, public relations, deficit theories of children and poor communities, avoidance of controversy, glibness and anti-intellectualism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Strategy and Management