Steering futures: Practices and possibilities of institutional redesign in Australian education and training

Year: 1998

Author: Seddon, Terri

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper interrogates processes of steering educational provision and practice in the context of market liberal education reform. It is based on findings from a 3-year Australian Research Council funded ethnographic study of restructuring in schools and Institutes of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) in Victoria. Victoria has spearheaded the drive for marketisation, decentralisation and managerialism in Australia and has taken these processes furthest in TAFE. The research shows that policy steering by government has fuelled steering by educational institutions and by practitioners within them. These processes of steering are illustrated in a way which clarifies the nature of steering, its key practices and enabling conditions. The paper argues that steering futures is not just a task for government but also for practitioners in education and training. It concludes by considering probable and possible futures and the scope for steering those futures in the late 1990s.