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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2018

Craig Campbell and Lyndsay Connors

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…

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.

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Julie McLeod

The purpose of this paper is to explore philosophies of progressive education circulating in Australia in the period immediately following the expansion of secondary…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore philosophies of progressive education circulating in Australia in the period immediately following the expansion of secondary schools in the 1960s. It examines the rise of the alternative and community school movement of the 1970s, focusing on initiatives within the Victorian government school sector. It aims to better understand the realisation of progressive education in the design and spatial arrangements of schools, with specific reference to the re-making of school and community relations and new norms of the student-subject of alternative schooling.

Design/methodology/approach

It combines historical analysis of educational ideas and reforms, focusing largely on the ideas of practitioners and networks of educators, and is guided by an interest in the importance of school space and place in mediating educational change and aspirations. It draws on published writings and reports from teachers and commentators in the 1970s, publications from the Victorian Department of Education, media discussions, internal and published documentation on specific schools and oral history interviews with former teachers and principals who worked at alternative schools.

Findings

It shows the different realisation of radical aims in the set up of two schools, against a backdrop of wider innovations in state education, looking specifically at the imagined effects of re-arranging the physical and symbolic space of schooling.

Originality/value

Its value lies in offering the beginnings of a history of 1970s educational progressivism. It brings forward a focus on the spatial dimensions of radical schooling, and moves from characterisation of a mood of change to illuminate the complexities of these ideas in the contrasting ambitions and design of two signature community schools.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1993

Linda Apelt and Bob Lingard

Concerned with the need to scrutinize the rhetoric of currentblueprints for schooling reform to ensure that in their implementationthere results a power redistribution…

Abstract

Concerned with the need to scrutinize the rhetoric of current blueprints for schooling reform to ensure that in their implementation there results a power redistribution which is in the interests of improved educational outcomes for more students, particularly for those who are currently the least advantaged. It is argued that with the implementation of decentralization and devolution policies for public education, there is a need to ensure that the principle of equity is maintained as an end to be achieved through democratic and efficient means which are in harmony with the spirit of public schooling in a liberal democracy. Questions related to the motives for reform and who benefits are pivotal.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Abstract

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 47 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1982

WILLIAM S. SIMPKINS

A study of the published statements of Australian school administrators revealed that two distinctive configurations of power and service relationships are projected in…

Abstract

A study of the published statements of Australian school administrators revealed that two distinctive configurations of power and service relationships are projected in their publically presented images of state school administration as it relates to government and the public. A previous Traditional Centralist‐Unity configuration is now being replaced by an Emergent Devolution‐Diversity conformation. Analysis was directed to (a) understanding the significance of the two images in terms of their function as public communications, and (b) accounting for the shift in the imagery in the light of pressures for change, the way administrators are interpreting change as turbulence, and the projection of counter images incorporating critiques of government school systems. To help organise analysis, it was assumed that images of system administration have the potential to communicate: 1. information, 2. explanation, 3. judgements and value positions, 4. statements designed to advance sectional interests, and 5. themes and persuasive symbols. It was also assumed that the shift in the public images of administrators may be studied in the way their images relate to three basic sources of administrative tension: tensions which arise from problems of meaning, problems of aspiration, and problems of practice.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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