Curriculum and Certification: Contested Reforms in Victorian Secondary Education

Year: 1986

Author: Blackmore, Jill

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The paper traces the historical emergence of credentialism which accompanied the growth of universal secondary education in Victoria particularly from 1930 to 1960. It investigates why the education- work nexus has continued to be a primary justification for external examinations and a major impediment to examination and curriculum reform. It counters the assumptions that educational qualifications necessarily signify economic productivity and that labour markets are homogenous, rational and neutral; claims recently theoretically discredited. It argues that educational credentials have cultural and political capital in that their value relies on class situation, gender and the legitimacy of the credentialling institution, not merely individual merit.