Gathering multiple school autonomies for more ethical realities

Year: 2021

Author: Gobby, Brad, Wilkinson, Jane

Type of paper: Symposium

A singular sense of school autonomy typically dominates education policy and policy work, which results in summarising, governing and drawing a veil over the differences of school autonomy. This presentation draws on the data of the School Autonomy and Social Justice in Australian Schools project to challenge school autonomy's status as a single and coherent entity. We use the interview responses of education stakeholders speaking about school autonomy to identify and gather various school autonomies that exist in Australian schools. Approaching this task ontologically through the concepts and sensibilities of material semiotics, we explore the issue of what realities are at stake in the specific material-discursive enactments of different school autonomies, including the continued dominance of what we term managerial autonomy. Analysing the interview responses, we identify and compare the material and discursive effects of the enactment of specific and different school autonomies within and between schools. We aim to generate, legitimate and promote multiple school autonomies to make possible the enactment of alternative school autonomies and their potentially more just and ethical realities.