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Politics and School Education in Australia: A Case of Shifting Purposes


Cranston, N and Kimber, M and Mulford, B and Reid, A and Keating, J, Politics and School Education in Australia: A Case of Shifting Purposes, Journal of Educational Administration, 48, (2) pp. 182-195. ISSN 0957-8234 (2010) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Emerald Group Publishing

DOI: doi:10.1108/09578231011027842


Purpose The paper aims to argue that there has been a privileging of the private (social mobility) and economic (social efficiency) purposes of schooling at the expense of the public (democratic equality) purposes of schooling. Design/methodology/approach The paper employs a literature review, policy and document analysis. Findings Since the late 1980s, the schooling agenda in Australia has been narrowed to one that gives primacy to purposes of schooling that highlight economic orientations (social efficiency) and private purposes (social mobility). Practical implications The findings have wider relevance beyond Australia, as similar policy agendas are evident in many other countries raising the question as to how the shift in purposes of education in those countries might mirror those in Australia. Originality/value While earlier writers have examined schooling policies in Australia and noted the implications of managerialism in relation to these policies, no study has analysed these policies from the perspective of the purposes of schooling. Conceptualising schooling, and its purposes in particular, in this way refocuses attention on how societies use their educational systems to promote (or otherwise) the public good.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, Education sector, Government policy, Politics, Schools
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Educational administration, management and leadership
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Management, resources and leadership
UTAS Author:Cranston, N (Professor Neil Cranston)
UTAS Author:Mulford, B (Professor Bill Mulford)
ID Code:64875
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2010-09-09
Last Modified:2015-02-12

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