Challenges for Public Education

Challenges for Public Education

Challenges for Public Education

An accelerating pattern in Australia and internationally is the dismantling of public education systems as part of a long-standing trend towards the modernisation, marketisation and privatisation of educational provision. Responsibility for direct delivery of education services has been shifted to contracting and monitoring under the clarion call of school and leadership autonomy and parental choice. Part of this pattern is an increasing blurring of boundaries between the state and private sector, a move from government to new forms of `strategic' governance, and from hierarchy to heterarchy.


Challenges for Public Education examines the educational leadership, policy and social justice implications of these trends in Australia and internationally. It maps this movement through early shifts to school-based management in Australia, New Zealand and Sweden and recent moves such as the academies programme in England and charter schools in the United States. It draws on recent studies of a distinct new phase in Australian school reform - the creation of `independent public schools' (IPS) in Western Australia and Queensland - and global policy moves in public education in order to provide a truly international dialogue and debate on these matters.


This book moves beyond critique. It innovatively brings together Australian and international perspectives and a rich range of diverse theoretical lenses: practice philosophy, feminism, gender, relational, and postmodernism. As such, it provides a crucial forum for illuminating alternate ways to conceptualise educational leadership, policy and social justice as resources for hope.
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An accelerating pattern in Australia and internationally is the dismantling of public education systems as part of a long-standing trend towards the modernisation, marketisation and privatisation of educational provision. Responsibility for direct delivery of education services has been shifted to contracting and monitoring under the clarion call of school and leadership autonomy and parental choice. Part of this pattern is an increasing blurring of boundaries between the state and private sector, a move from government to new forms of `strategic' governance, and from hierarchy to heterarchy.


Challenges for Public Education examines the educational leadership, policy and social justice implications of these trends in Australia and internationally. It maps this movement through early shifts to school-based management in Australia, New Zealand and Sweden and recent moves such as the academies programme in England and charter schools in the United States. It draws on recent studies of a distinct new phase in Australian school reform - the creation of `independent public schools' (IPS) in Western Australia and Queensland - and global policy moves in public education in order to provide a truly international dialogue and debate on these matters.


This book moves beyond critique. It innovatively brings together Australian and international perspectives and a rich range of diverse theoretical lenses: practice philosophy, feminism, gender, relational, and postmodernism. As such, it provides a crucial forum for illuminating alternate ways to conceptualise educational leadership, policy and social justice as resources for hope.
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