AARE Seminar Series - Number four - Professor Robert Hattam

Wed, Aug. 19, 2020 16:00:00 — 17:00:00


Towards a politics of truth tor schooling in Australia

Professor Robert Hattam

Unfortunately, educators in Australian schools now have their work constituted inside of a reform agenda that is increasingly under duress: (i) the performance of Australian students has declined at all levels of achievement compared to international benchmarks, and there is evidence mounting that Australia is one of the most unequal education systems amongst the 39 developed countries. But then those driving policy in Australia assert we should continue with the same but just do it harder. In this presentation, I examine the reform agenda for Australian schooling that now operates as a regime of truth. And to frame up my argument I want to make a case for a politics of truth, which examines how truth itself is authorised, and how what counts as truth now gets to hold sway.
The presentation makes a case that schooling suffers from a power/knowledge problem, that is multi-dimensional. The presentation interrogates: (i) four key neoliberalising policy rationales of the past decade: devolution, standardisation, parental choice, and accountability through high stakes testing; the School Effectiveness /School Improvement paradigm (SE/SI) that works in tandem with neoliberalising logics; and (iii) the radical disconnect between the official knowledge that is taught in schools and the challenges facing the communities that we all live in, and the nation. The presentation ends with a discussion of the scaling up of classroom-based curriculum and pedagogy redesign projects to the knowledge producing school.

About the presenter

Robert Hallam is the Professor for Educational Justice in UniSA's Education Futures, and the Convenor of the Pedagogies for Justice Research Group His research has focused on teachers' work, critical and reconciliation pedagogies, refugees, and socially just school reform. He has been involved in Australian Research Council funded projects on teachers' learning in the devolving school, early school leaving, and middle schooling; Re-thinking Reconciliation and Pedagogy in Unsettling Times; Redesigning pedagogies in the North; Schooling, Globalisation and Refugees in Queensland; Negotiating A Space Wrthin The Nation The Case Of Ngarrindjeri, Educational Leadership and turnaround literacy pedagogies; and Towards an Australian culturally responsive pedagogy.

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