23 SES 10 D, Marketisation Policies and Their Effects on Staff and Students
This presentation draws on data from a broader research project on markets of schools and teachers’ work within and across them. Countries across the Global North feature market-oriented systems of schooling, covering a range of government-independent and government-dependent arrangements (Dronkers & Avram, 2015). Australia provides a curious test case in offering up a particularly wide range of choice to parents. This includes a large, fee-charging, government-dependent private sector. Yet, as has been seen overseas (Reay, Crozier, & James, 2011), parents in Australia have also been known to demonstrate a particular loyalty to the government system (Campbell, Proctor, & Sherington, 2009). For in Australia the choice principle operates in the government sector as well, with selective and specialist schools common (particularly in New South Wales (NSW), the state in which this study is situated), and the relaxation of school zoning rules (Considine, 2012) allowing parents a limited but important amount of choice between ‘better’ or ‘worse’ comprehensive public schools. As Campbell, Proctor and Sherington (2009) have noted, some ‘good’ public schools having long waiting lists. Generally speaking, it is the middle-class who exercise most ‘choice’ (Campbell et al., 2009) in this regard.
The school choice relationship, however, goes both ways. It is not only about students and parents ‘choosing’ schools, but also the behaviour of the schools themselves, with “an incentive on the part of these schools collectively to attract certain populations in order to either retain or enhance their market position.” (Lubienski & Myers, 2016, p. 12) The middle-class, with their well-documented advantages in schooling over their working-class counterparts (OECD, 2016), are a valuable commodity for schools. There is also evidence that teachers tend to be drawn to middle-class schooling contexts where their work is felt to be more “stimulating and encouraging” (Forsey, 2010, p. 71). Similarly, Freeman et al (2014) have noted that teachers with large numbers of high-achieving students feel greater self-efficacy, while teachers who work with low-achievers report less job satisfaction. Windle (2009), in his questionnaire and interview study of students and teachers, has indicated that in middle-class and elite schools, teachers’ work is simplified as “the range of performances is far narrower” (p. 233) and there is less of a requirement to “justify the content they teach before students who they can rely on to persevere with esoteric tasks” (Windle, 2009, p. 238). This has obvious implications for what the teaching job entails – indeed, Parding, McGrath-Champ and Stacey (in press) have found that the relative advantage of the student body is a key determining factor in how teachers perceive the nature and content of their work. It is the purpose of this paper to delve more deeply into such issues by drawing on the voices of teachers who work in the ‘market middle’.
This presentation therefore engages with the following two focus questions:
- How do teachers in middle-class schools describe their work?
- What do teachers in middle-class schools enjoy about their work?
In answering such questions, I will draw upon the work of Bourdieu (Bourdieu, 1981; Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992) and the concept of ‘ontological complicity’ between habitus and field. It will be argued that the teachers in this study were largely ‘fish in water’ in their work, bringing a broadly middle-class habitus to the middle-class schools in which they were employed. I will also draw on the theory of capitals in analysing this relationship (Bourdieu, 2002).
Bourdieu, P. (1981). Men and machines. In K. Knorr-Cetina & A. V. Cicourel (Eds.), Advances in social theory and methodology: Toward an integration of micro- and macro-sociologies (pp. 304-317). MA: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Bourdieu, P. (2002). The forms of capital. In N. W. Biggart (Ed.), Readings in economic sociology. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. J. D. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press. Campbell, C., Proctor, H., & Sherington, G. (2009). School choice: how parents negotiate the new school market in Australia. Crows Nest, N.S.W: Allen & Unwin. Connell, R. W. (2005). Masculinities (Vol. 2nd). Cambridge: Polity Press. Considine, G. (2012). Neo-liberal reforms in NSW public secondary education: What has happened to teachers' work? (Doctoral thesis, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia). Retrieved from http://prijipati.library.usyd.edu.au/bitstream/2123/8596/1/g-considine-2012-thesis.pdf Dronkers, J., & Avram, S. (2015). What can international comparisons teach us about school choice and non-governmental schools in Europe? Comparative Education, 51(1), 118-132. doi:10.1080/03050068.2014.935583 Forsey, M. (2010). Teachers and the re-production of middle-class culture in Australian schools. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 20(1), 67-81. doi:10.1080/09620211003655671 Freeman, C., O'Malley, K., & Eveleigh, F. (2014). Australian teachers and the learning environment: An analysis of teacher response to TALIS 2013: Final report. Melbourne: ACER. Lubienski, C., & Myers, P. S. (2016). The rhetoric and reality of school reform: Choice, competition, and organizational incentives in market-oriented education. In C. H. Tienken & C. A. Mullen (Eds.), Education policy perils: Tackling the tough issues (pp. 7-26). New York & London: Routledge. OECD. (2016). PISA 2015 results (volume I): Excellence and equity in education. Paris: PISA OECD Publishing. Parding, K., McGrath-Champ, S., & Stacey, M. (in press). Teachers, school choice and competition: Lock-in effects within and between sectors. Policy Futures in Education. Reay, D., Crozier, G., & James, D. (2011). White middle-class identitites and urban schooling. Hampshire & New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 443-466). Thousand Oaks, London & New Delhi: SAGE Publications. Stake, R. E. (2006). Multiple case study analysis. New York: Guildford Press. Windle, J. (2009). The limits of school choice: some implications for accountability of selective practices and positional competition in Australian education. Critical Studies in Education, 50(3), 231-246.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.