Flip the System Australia : What Matters in Education book cover
1st Edition

Flip the System Australia
What Matters in Education

ISBN 9781138367869
Published November 29, 2018 by Routledge
272 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This is a book by educators, for educators. It grapples with the complexities, the humanity and the possibilities in education. In a climate of competing accountabilities and measurement mechanisms; corporate solutions to education ‘problems’; and narratives of ‘failing’ schools, ‘underperforming’ teachers and ‘disengaged’ students; this book asks ‘What matters?’ or ‘What should matter?’ in education.

Based in the unique Australian context, this book situates Australian education policy, research and practice within the international education narrative. It argues that professionals within schools should be supported, empowered and welcomed into policy discourse, not dictated to by top-down bureaucracy. It advocates for a flipping, flattening and democratising of the education system, in Australia and around the world.

Flip the System Australia: What matters in education brings together the voices of teachers, school leaders and scholars in order to offer diverse perspectives, important challenges and hopeful alternatives to the current education system.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Foreword Jelmer Evers

Introduction: What Matters in Education? Deborah M. Netolicky, Jon Andrews And Cameron Paterson

PART I: Teacher Identity, Voice and Autonomy: Turning the System Inside Out

Chapter 1. Elevating the Professional Identities and Voices of Teachers and School Leaders in Educational Research, Practice, And Policymaking Deborah M. Netolicky

Chapter 2. Teachers’ Perceptions of Commercialisation in Australian Public Schools: Implications for Teacher Professionalism Anna Hogan and Bob Lingard

Chapter 3. Flipping the System, But in Which Direction? Reclaiming Education as a Public Concern Gert Biesta

Chapter 4. Podcasts: Vehicles for Professional Growth and System Flipping Cameron Malcher

Chapter 5. Education Beyond Risk: Vulnerability as a Challenge to Neoliberalism’s Colour-Blind Order Benjamin Doxtdator

PART II: Collaborative Expertise: Reprofessionalising the System

Chapter 6. Flipping Large Scale Assessments: Bringing Teacher Expertise to the Table Greg Thompson, David Rutkowski and Sam Sellar

Chapter 7. Schools for the Future: Networks and Innovation Cameron Paterson and Keren Caple

Chapter 8. Developing Teacher Leadership and Collaborative Professionalism to Flip the System: Reflections from Canada Carol Campbell

Chapter 9. Changing Education in Action: Lighting the Collective Efficacy Flame Gavin Hays and Adam Hendry

Chapter 10. From Weakness to Strength: Turning the Challenge of ‘Out of Field Teaching’ into a Team that Thrives Yasodai Selvakumaran

Chapter 11. Flipping Their Lids: Teachers’ Wellbeing in Crisis Andy Hargreaves, Shaneé Washington and Michael T. O’Connor

PART III: Social Justice: Democratising the System

Chapter 12. "In 2017 We Seek to Be Heard": De-Tangling the Contradictory Discourses that Silence Indigenous Voices in Education Melitta Hogarth

Chapter 13. Locked Out, Left Out: Three Generations Schooled and Classed Kelly Cheung

Chapter 14. Learning with Connection: Shifting Teachers’ Practice through Authentic Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities Kevin Lowe

Chapter 15. Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students in Schools Ben Lewis

Chapter 16. Reach Them Then Teach Them: Engagement in Alternative Education Settings Dan Haesler and Melissa Fotea

Chapter 17. Makerspace as ‘Soul Work’ of Public Schooling Tomaz Lasic

Chapter 18. Equitable Education in Australia: Empowering Schools to Lead the Way Pasi Sahlberg

PART IV: Professional Learning for a Flipped System

Chapter 19. Coaching for Agency: the Power of Professionally Respectful Dialogue Jon Andrews and Chris Munro

Chapter 20. Changing the Landscape through Professional Learning Rachel Lofthouse

Chapter 21. From Silo to Study Group: Subverting Teacher Learning Ryan Gill and Carla Gagliano

PART V: Leadership for a Flipped System

Chapter 22. Empowering Educators Through Flipped School Leadership? Scott Eacott

Chapter 23. Riding Two Wild Horses: Leading Australian Schools in an Era of Accountability Rebecca Cody

Chapter 24. A Culture of Trust: Key Practices of Compelling Leadership Paul Browning

Chapter Number & Title – Chapter 25. Context Matters: Women Leading in Rural Schools Susan Bradbeer

Chapter 26. One School’s Journey to Create a New Education Paradigm Ray Trotter

Chapter 27. Finding Our Roots in The Leaves: An Ecology of Change in Leading Learning That Matters Flossie S. G. Chua, David N. Perkins, and Daniel G. Wilson

Conclusion: Speaking Hope into Education Discourse Deborah M. Netolicky, Jon Andrews and Cameron Paterson

List of Contributors

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Deborah M. Netolicky has almost 20 years’ experience as a teacher, school leader, and researcher in Australia and the UK. She is Honorary Research Associate at Murdoch University and Dean of Research and Pedagogy at Wesley College, Perth. Deborah blogs at theeduflaneuse.com and tweets as @debsnet.

Jon Andrews leads his school’s staff professional development program, system of teacher coaching and feedback, beginning teacher mentoring and staff engagement with professional learning.

Cameron Paterson is responsible for the strategic leadership of learning and teaching, innovation, and promoting excellence in teaching practice at SHORE School in Sydney. He is closely connected to Harvard’s Project Zero. In 2016, he received the 21st Century International Global Innovation Award for Teaching.


This excellent book is an exemplary collaboration between teachers, school leaders, and educational researchers. By pointing to a vast range of challenges, tensions, and spaces for hope and possibility, it gets to the heart of what’s important in contemporary Australian education. The book is an urgent call to ‘flip the system’ for the creation of more equitable and generative schooling for all Australian children and young people. It is an important and timely reminder of the power we have as educators, both collectively and individually, to engage in this crucial work.

Associate Professor Nicole Mockler, University of Sydney

This book will be a very welcome addition to the professional libraries of Australian educators and schools. It has a combination of new voices and new thinking from experienced academics that can be read sequentially or can be read by dropping into particular issues and themes. Its commitment to providing a forum for these voices as they contest some of the big ideas, trends, myths and confusions of education will add depth to the broader educational debate and professional thinking in the next decade.

Christine Cawsey AM, Principal, Rooty Hill High School

In far too many countries around the world, education as the practice of freedom has become degraded into an alienating experience for teachers and students alike. Australia has not been immune to these pressures, but its educators are rallying and providing a powerful set of new narratives and agendas for the future of our young people and our endangered planet. For all of those intrigued by the prospect of uplifting the human condition through education for a rising generation, 'Flip the System Australia' is an indispensable guide and a clarion call to action.

Professor Dennis Shirley, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Educational Change, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

By giving voice to the real work of teachers while recognizing students as individuals, Flip the System Australia invites us to embrace the rich, nuanced, complexity of teaching and learning. By treating the reader as a trusted and engaged colleague, this book elevates the conversation beyond "what works" to begin to explore new possibilities of what education might be. As with the other volumes of Flip the System, one will not find a simple compendium of platitudes, prescriptions, or advice; but rather a surfacing of important questions and issues. In doing so, this book reminds us that education is fundamentally about people, potential, and possibilities.

Dr. Ron Ritchhart, Senior Research Associate, Harvard University, and author of Creating Cultures of Thinking