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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Diluting education? An ethnographic study of change in an Australian Ministry of Education
Author(s): Robinson, Sarah
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Keywords: neo-liberalism
Educational change Australia
Educational planning Australia
Issue Date: Dec-2011
Date Deposited: 5-Oct-2011
Citation: Robinson S (2011) Diluting education? An ethnographic study of change in an Australian Ministry of Education. Discourse, 32 (5), pp. 797-807.
Abstract: This ethnographic study captures the processes that led to change in an Australian public education system. The changes were driven by strong neo-liberal discourses which resulted in a shift from a shared understanding about leading educational change in schools by knowledge transfer to managing educational change as a process, in other words, allowing the schools to decide how to change. Inside an Australian state education bureaucracy at a time when the organisation was restructured and services decentralised, this study helps show some of the disturbing trends resulting from the further entrenchment of neo-liberal strategies. Although control was re-centralised by legitimising performance mechanisms, in the form of national testing, there are indications that the focus on national tests may have alarming consequences for the content and context of education. I argue that the complexities of learning and fundamental pedagogies are being lost in preference for an over reliance on data systems that are based on a shallow and narrow set of standardised measures.
DOI Link: 10.1080/01596306.2011.620760
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, Volume 32, Issue 5, 2011, pp. 797-807 copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:

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