Towards a national frame for research with disenfranchised and vulnerable young people

Year: 2016

Author: Wrench, Alison, Hattam, Rob

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In developed political economies schooling is under attack from neo-liberal and neo-conservative agendas (Connell, 2013). Evidence includes the framing of educational policy by statistics (Lingard 2011) and accountability measures (Singh, Martsin & Glasswell 2013). Proposed reforms are underpinned by ‘marketised’ solutions and calls for a ‘return’ to higher standards and traditional values (Apple 2004). Consequences include performative audit cultures (Comber & Nixon 2011), prescribed curriculum and reductive forms of teaching (Edwards-Groves & Kemmis 2016). Correspondingly these policies and approaches suggest a homogeneity in students, which fails to reflect regional contexts of inequality evident in Australia (Lingard, 2013). Of concern is that policies, reforms and practices of accountability are contributing to worsening educational disadvantage experienced by students from marginalised regions of Australia (Glasswell Singh & McNaughton, 2016). Such concerns are central to this paper, which emerges from a symposium/workshop, convened by the Low SES Network of education researchers. A key aim of this network is to develop a national research program for educational researchers committed to resisting educational inequality and joining up various state based programs into one program that might be understood as a multi-sited, multi-regional policy sociology. Such a program has the potential to develop designs that might: be more compelling; establish a national Clearinghouse on research; advance innovative methodo-logics; leverage into global research funding schemes; and provide for stronger advocacy. References Apple, M. (2004). Creating Difference: Neo-Liberalism, Neo-Conservatism and the Politics of Educational Reform. Educational Policy 18(1): 12-44.Comber, B., & H. Nixon (2011). Critical reading comprehension in an era of accountability. Australian Education Researcher, 38 (1) 167–179. Connell, R. (2013). The neoliberal cascade and education: an essay on the market agenda and its consequences, Critical Studies in Education, 54(2): 99–112.Edwards-Groves, C., & S. Kemmis (2016). Pedagogy, education and Praxis: understanding new forms of intersubjectivity through action research and practice theory. Educational Action Research 24(1): 77-96.Glasswell, K., Singh, P., & McNaughton, S., (2016), Partners In design: Co-inquiry for quality teaching in disadvantaged schools, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 39(1): 20-29. Lingard, B. (2011). Policy as numbers: ac/counting for educational research, Australian Education Researcher 38(4): 355-382Lingard, B. (2013). Foreword. In G. Munns, W. Sawyer & B. Cole (Eds), Exemplary Teachers of Students in Poverty. London, Routledge: x-xivSingh, P., Martsin, M., & Glasswell, K., (2013), Knowledge work at the boundary: Making a difference to educational disadvantage, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 2(2): 102-110.