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.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Challenges for Public Education: Perils and Possibilities for Educational Leadership, Policy and Social Justice Jane Wilkinson, Richard Niesche And Scott Eacott
SECTION ONE: THEORETICAL POSSIBILITIES
Chapter Two: Re-Imagining Leadership as a Resource of and for Educational Practice/Praxis in Neo-Liberal Times Jane Wilkinson
Chapter Three: School and Principal Autonomy: Resisting, Not Manufacturing the Neoliberal Subject Richard Niesche
Chapter Four: Educational Leadership Research and The Dismantling of Public Education: A Relational Approach Scott Eacott
SECTION TWO: LOCAL/INTERNATIONAL CASES
Chapter Five: Competitive Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment: Competing Practices of a School Autonomy Reform Brad Gobby
Chapter Six: Exploring A School Improvement Initiative: Leadership and Policy Enactment in Queensland’s Independent Public Schools Amanda Heffernan
Chapter Seven: Depoliticisation and Education Policy Helen M. Gunter
Chapter Eight: Oh To Be In England? The Production of an Unpublic State System Pat Thomson
Chapter Nine: Shifting Logics: Education and Privatisation the Swedish Way Nafsika Alexiadou, Lisbeth Lundahl, Linda Rönnberg
Chapter Ten: To Be ‘In The Tent’ Or Abandon It? A School Clusters Policy and The Responses of New Zealand Educational Leaders Martin Thrupp
Chapter Eleven: The Rise of Authoritarian Neoliberalism: How Neoliberalism Threatens Public Education and Democracy David Hursh
Chapter Twelve: Restoring The ‘Publicness’ of Public Education Alan Reid
Jane Wilkinson is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Monash University, Australia. She researches educational leadership as practice/praxis. Jane’s new book is Educational Leadership as a Culturally-constructed Practice: New Directions and Possibilities (with Laurette Bristol, Routledge, 2018). She is lead editor (with Jeffrey S. Brooks) of the Journal of Educational Administration and History.
Richard Niesche is Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. His research interests include educational leadership, social justice and poststructuralism. He is a founding co-editor of the Educational Leadership Theory book series with Springer.
Scott Eacott is a relational theorist in the School of Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He is widely published with research interests and contributions in three main areas: 1) a relational approach to organizational theory; 2) social epistemology; and 3) school reform.