From social justice to 'Literacy for all'. Australian variations on a global theme.

Year: 1999

Author: Taylor, Sandra, Henry, Miriam

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on a study of changing conceptualisations of equity within education policy in Australia in recent times. Questions are raised about the significance of the shift to a literacy focus. At the commonwealth level, literacy appears to have become a surrogate for other forms of educational and social disadvantage, connecting to a number of global discourses including the potentially narrow discourse of 'literacy for the knowledge economy'. At the same time, there are continuities with older framings of equity drawing on an Australian tradition of reform, and significant State-based variations in how literacy/equity is defined and taken up in policy, reflecting local histories and conflicts. At a more theoretical level, the study raises questions about the globalisation of education policy making and the significance of this for conceptualising and researching notions of national interest and the connections between the so-called local and global.