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Abstract

How do organizations learn and how do new reform strategies in education emerge? This article suggests that educational reforms are cyclical in that they follow a trial-and-error pattern to a point of burn-out thereby giving way to new ideas that grow epidemically or exponentially. After a while the effectiveness of these new reform ideas also become contested and are replaced with new ideas. However, since reform ideas surface cyclically, some of these "new" ideas should be considered, at closer scrutiny, as old. A relatively new feature of policy agenda setting and decision-making is a commitment to knowledgebased regulation and evidencebased policy planning. The theory of the post-bureaucratic state as well as transnational policy borrowing and lending are briefly sketched to situate knowledge- based regulation against the backdrop of the larger issue of globalization in education. The question becomes: Has knowledge- based regulation suspended cyclical reform movements?

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