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Australian education policy from the 1970s: an autobiographical approach

Craig Campbell (Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Lyndsay Connors (Sydney School of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

History of Education Review

ISSN: 0819-8691

Article publication date: 17 October 2018

Issue publication date: 30 November 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the history of national education policy through an interview with one of its significant makers and critics, Lyndsay Connors, a former Australian Schools Commissioner.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper occurs as an interview. The text is based on a revised conversation held as an event of the Australian and New Zealand History of Education Conference held at the University of Canberra, on 26 September 2017.

Findings

Australian educational policy is peculiarly complex, and apparently “irrational”. This appears especially so in relation to the government, tax-raised, funding of government and non-government schools. A combination of the peculiarities of Australian federalism in relation to education, political expediency, popular exhaustion with the “state aid” debate, the power of entrenched interest groups and the distancing of democratic decision making from the decision-making process in relation to education all play a part.

Originality/value

The originality of this contribution to a research journal lies in its combination of autobiography with historical policy analysis.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The interview took place as a session of the Australian and New Zealand History of Education Conference held at the University of Canberra, on 26 September 2017.

Citation

Campbell, C. and Connors, L. (2018), "Australian education policy from the 1970s: an autobiographical approach", History of Education Review, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 169-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/HER-12-2017-0032

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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