Principals' responses to deradicalisation policy texts and media representation: "Implicated advocacy" and the role of schools

Year: 2016

Author: Mayes, Eve, Low, Remy, Mockler, Nicole

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Principals’ work is in policy enactment is highly complex, often drawing principals in to a space of “implicated advocacy” (Thompson & Mockler, 2015), where competing and sometimes oppositional discourses require them to both ‘buy in’ to policy while at the same time provide advocacy for the young people and teachers in their care. In contemporary discussions of de/radicalisation, schools are framed as sites for the identification of students (apparently) in the process of radicalising, and adults in schools are positioned as agents in these students’ deradicalisation. This paper discusses an interview study with principals about their interpretations and responses to this policy environment and to media texts reporting on de/radicalisation and the role of schools. The central question of this paper is: How do principals give an account of how they interpret/ refract/ reframe/ resist the “problem” of radicalisation? Principals’ articulated accounts suggest the highly complex work of principals in responding to calls for schools to deradicalise students and encourage political and religious “moderation.” At the same time as principals describe their implicated advocacy, this paper also explores what is left unspoken and what is unspeakable and unhearable in the interview situation and the current policy environment. Reference ListThompson, G., & Mockler, N. (2016). Principals of audit: Testing, data and ‘implicated advocacy’. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 48(1), 1-18.