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ERIC Number: EJ1157049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0818-8068
Resisting the "Employability" Doctrine through Anarchist Pedagogies & Prefiguration
Osborne, Natalie; Grant-Smith, Deanna
Australian Universities' Review, v59 n2 p59-69 2017
Increasingly those working in higher education are tasked with targeting their teaching approaches and techniques to improve the "employability" of graduates. However, this approach is promoted with little recognition that enhanced employability does not guarantee employment outcomes or the tensions inherent in pursuing this agenda. The increasing focus on employability seems to suggest that the primary role of contemporary higher education is to produce skilled (yet increasingly un/der paid and precarious) workers. Although graduate employment is undoubtedly an important outcome, we do not consider it our primary purpose or the yardstick by which the quality of education (and our teaching) should be measured. To do so would be to cede ground on what the role of higher education is and can be, potentially impacting negatively on both students and those who teach them. Drawing on anarchist pedagogies and prefigurative politics and our own experiences as educators and researchers in vocationally-oriented disciplines, we consider the possibilities for resistance within the academy to the dominant discourses of employability. We highlight the tensions inherent in the neoliberal pursuit of employability, characterising them as fissures through which possibilities for resistance and transformative praxes may take hold and indeed thrive.
National Tertiary Education Union. PO Box 1323, South Melbourne 3205, Australia. Tel: +61-3-92541910; Fax: +61-3-92541915; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A