Nuts and Bolts of Educational Policy and Educational Governance: Unpacking the Nexus between the Two through a Holistic Educational Policy-Governance Approach


  • Kashif Raza University of Calgary
  • Catherine Chua University of Calgary



Abstract: Just like that ancient riddle about who came first between the egg and the chicken, researchers interested in educational policy and educational governance keep arguing whether educational policies guide institutional governance or institutional governance controls educational policy formation, implementation, and reform. Although there is consensus about the interconnectedness between the two, controversies about their roles in each other’s establishment and functioning continue to surface in literature on the topics and researchers remain interested in investigating the nexus between them. However, there is still confusion about what to consider when performing an educational policy-governance analysis. This paper discusses the relationship between educational policy and educational governance, and the debates surrounding their influence on each other. The findings of our literature review reveal that whether it is educational policy or governance, they can be categorized into three levels (top-down, bottom-up and middle-out) in terms of planning, implementation and review. Although traditional educational policy-governance analysis that usually focuses on one of the three levels may help understand each level separately, this paper proposes a holistic educational policy-governance approach (HEPGA) that can be useful in considering the complexity, interconnectedness and collectivism that characterize contemporary educational policy-governance practices.