23 SES 05 D, Local Education Policy
Parallel Paper Session
The governance of school education in Australia has remained, until recently, the province of the six state and two territory governments, which each have state-wide schooling systems employing teachers, and providing policy and infrastructure. This paper examines the emerging and potential implications for the governance of school education by the greater governance involvement of the political arena in educational domains, particularly the increasing policy interventions emerging from the federal level of governance. This federally-driven nationalisation of curriculum appears to presents a new governance ‘settlement’ for education (Taylor et al 1997) – but a highly unsettled settlement, we argue –whilst unsettling and redirecting control of educators’ work. We ask if this is represents new forms of centralisation in marketisation of the schooling sector, with the federal government acquiring both a policy and an accountability function. We address this question through a focus on standardisation, control and accountability through the invention a national curriculum (c.f. Grumet & Yates 2011).
Australia is the only federal governance system in the OECD to have introduced a national curriculum (Brennan 2011). The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) that brings together federal and State governments, along with the Ministerial Council that brings together Ministers of Education, have been systematically building agreements that involve federal funding, policy and accountability regimes for a range of domains in the sector, without having to resort to formal referral of powers from the States to the federal government, as specified in the Australian constitution. National Curriculum provides an instructive case for examining the strategies by which governments at both federal and state levels make policy interventions that accentuate control the work of both teachers and students in schools. Examination of different iterations of the curriculum, and their treatments of pedagogy and assessment, enables an analysis of the effects of governance ‘at a distance’ (Kickert 1991) through both cooption and coercion across levels of government, and how this links to the trends and exertions of international, northern hemisphere supra-national organisations such as OECD. Continuing a longstanding tradition of policy-borrowing from the colonial Mother England, national curriculum has been introduced alongside a raft of other federalising moves into education (and other the human services – the ‘left hand of the state’, as Bourdieu calls it (1999)). We read this as a response to globalising pressures that newly foregrounds the nation-state (Dale 2004), yet at the same time make its internal political legitimation more problematic. We observe that, in becoming increasingly federal in focus, educational governance can use strong standardisation and accountability regimes as means to redirect political attention from government legitimation and fiscal crises. What is emerging, then, is a sharing of state-level government responsibilities with the federal level, which then operates through contractual and tied funding agreements with the states, alongside the invention of new non-government bodies that help to distance both levels of government from policy implementation and its contestations.
Brennan, M. 2011, National Curriculum: A political-educational tangle. Australian Journal of Education 55,3:259-280. Appadurai, A. (1990). Disjuncture and difference in the global culture economy. Theory, Culture, and Society 7:295–310. Australian Curriculum Coalition. (2010, 22 October). Common view on the Australian curriculum. Letter to ministers of education. Retrieved 15 May 2011 from http://www.acsa.edu.au/pages/images/Australian%20Curriculum%20Coalition%20common%20view%20on%20the%20Australian%20Curriculum4.pdf. Bourdieu, P. 1999, Acts of Resistance: Against the Tyranny of the Market. Trans. Richard Nice. New York: New Press. Dale, R. (2004) Forms of governance, governmentality and the EU’s Open Method of Co-ordination. In larner and Walters (EDs) Global governmentality governing International Spaces.London: Routledge. Grumet, M., & Yates, L. (2011). The world in today’s curriculum. In L. Yates & M. Grumet (Eds.), Curriculum in today’s world: Configuring knowledge, identities, work and politics (239–247). World Year Book Education Series, Volume 2011. Oxon, UK: Taylor & Francis. Kupfer, A. 2008, Diminished states? National power in European education policy. British Journal of Education Studies 56,3:286-303. Reid, A. (2005b). Rethinking approaches to national curriculum: Beyond the railway gauge metaphor. Occasional Paper Series. Canberra: Australian College of Educators. Rizvi, F., & Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing education policy. Brisbane, Oxford, UK, & New York, NY: Routledge. Lingard, B., Porter, P., Bartlett, L., & Knight, J. (1995). Federal/state mediations in the Australian national education agenda: From the AEC to MCEETYA 1987–1993. Australian Journal of Education, 39(1):41–66. Stake, R. (1995) The Art of Case Study Research. London: Sage.
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
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