The Two Solitudes of Educational Policy and the Challenge of Development


  • Stephen J Murgatroyd Collaborative Media Group Inc.
  • Pasi Sahlberg Harvard Graduate School of Education



Equity, Policy, Market Choice, Neoliberal, Evidence Based Decisions


Policy makers are challenged to improve educational outcomes, manage scarce resources and secure public acceptance of their initiatives to provide quality, relevant and effective education. In making decisions they are pulled between competing ideologies about the process and purposes of schooling. This paper explores these ideologies and suggests tensions between them. The paper also suggests a way forward for those seeking to established evidence based, context sensitive policies and practices

Author Biographies

Stephen J Murgatroyd, Collaborative Media Group Inc.

Stephen Murgatroyd, PhD  worked at The Open University, Athabasca University and Axia NetMedia as an researcher, writer, innovator, consultant and entrepreneur. He now runs a technology and consulting company, based in Edmonton Alberta. He is the author of some thirty-five books and over 200 academic papers. He is also Chief Innovation Officer for Contact North|Contact Nord.

Pasi Sahlberg, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Pasi Sahlberg, PhD is a Finnish educator, author and scholar. He has worked as a schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher and policy advisor in Finland and has studied education systems and reforms around the world. He is a former Director General of CIMO (Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation) at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture in Helsinki, former officer of the World Bank and the European Training Foundation and is currently a visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, MA, USA.


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How to Cite

Murgatroyd, S. J., & Sahlberg, P. (2016). The Two Solitudes of Educational Policy and the Challenge of Development. Journal of Learning for Development, 3(3).



Received 2016-05-13
Accepted 2016-09-18
Published 2016-11-10