23 SES 10 B, Theorizing Educational Boundary Work
Global flows that reform and respatialise national education systems are mostly understood in education policy research in terms of de- and re-territorialization of national education systems. Yet boundary work is evident at the national scale, where the state is a core actor, and also at sub- and supra-national scales, where non-state actors reboundary educational spaces for particularistic purposes. This paper draws on political geography and the sociology of globalisation to distinguish these types of ‘educational boundary work’. I use two Australian commentaries on education in a comparative analysis to show the significance of both re-territorialising and reboundarying processes in respatialising Australia’s education system over time. The commentaries are drawn from a New South Wales Commission of Inquiry in the early 20th century and the website of a 21st century partnership initiative in Melbourne, Victoria. They reveal the way logics of education have shifted over the past 100 years and differentially endorse state- and non-state identities as actors in this reconfiguring national education space. I argue that ‘territorialisation’ and ‘reboundarying’ draw respectively on political and sociological discourse to reveal the dynamic interplay between state-centred and decentred non-state actors and processes in remaking education and educational work
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