ERIC Number: ED474750
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jul-29
Reference Count: N/A
The Struggle for Education. Working Paper.
Bates, Richard J.
Since the 1960s, the world has undergone transformations in trade, industry, and technology. Some assert that the postmodern society needs organizational structures that allow for diversity, instability, unpredictability, and mobility. However, this paper argues that the headlong rush toward such organizational forms may well encourage the abandonment of commitments to longer term, more stable, and absolutely fundamental social and cultural objectives. During the last decade Australia has been greatly influenced by conservative English think tanks that advocate market solutions to social problems and the abdication of government from social responsibilities in favor of a competitive model of society in which the unfortunate would be supported by the most meager safety nets. Education in Australia is undergoing a battle for control of content, pedagogy, and assessment. The paper focuses on the reconstitution of the schools in Victoria, as it exemplifies tendencies elsewhere. The paper describes how a combination of current developments point toward great problems in the achievement of quality education: the vocationalization of the curriculum; the shifts toward competency-based education and assessment; the nationalization of curriculum and assessment; the nomination of the educational content that excludes notions of cultural difference and social justice; the reduction of resources through benchmarking; the devolution of responsibility for budget shortfalls but the centralization of control through managerial yardsticks in standards and frameworks; and the failures to recognize the complexity of learning, teaching, and schooling. Simultaneously, the reduction of collective mechanisms makes protest and the reassertion of our collective responsibilities that much more difficult. These developments constitute a major challenge to educators concerned with the construction of a culturally diverse, socially just, quality education for all. (Contains 36 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Accountability, Centralization, Competency Based Education, Conservatism, Educational Assessment, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Free Enterprise System, National Curriculum, Postmodernism
Deakin Centre for Education and Change, Faculty of Education, Deakin University, Geelong 3217, Australia ($5, associate members; $7 non-associate members). Web site: http://www.deakin.edu.au.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Deakin Univ., Geelong (Australia). Centre for Education and Change.
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom (Great Britain)