Education issues feature almost daily in print media, online, on the radio and on television, much of which focuses on the perceived deficits of students and teachers. Singled out for special attention are low socio-economic status (SES) schools which are frequently characterised by teachers and students with little investment in learning and teaching. Yet within this plethora of educational discussion there is no contemporary, longitudinal study of what it means to learn and teach in a disadvantaged school within the policy context of the ‘education revolution’ in Australia.
Drawing on 500 interviews conducted over a four period with the Principal, parents, teachers and students at a regional low SES school, this book challenges the profile of one school as represented on the ‘My School’ website which publishes the results of National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Chapters situate the original research within an international and national educational context, before exploring topics including leadership and management, student behaviour, constructs of the ‘good teacher’, the involvement of parents in school and the ‘digital revolution’. The book closes with an appraisal of the major themes that emerged from the multiple perspectives of the study.
This is the first book to provide a longitudinal ethnographic study of a school in Australia, which examines the impact of the ‘education revolution’ on the Principal, parents, teachers and students. It comprehensively challenges the official ‘My School’ representation of a low SES school and will appeal to researchers in education, as well as those involved in postgraduate teacher education and sociology courses, both from Australia and internationally.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Methodology 2. Global Education Policy: a big story 3. Australian Education Policy: another big story 4. The Principal’s School: the challenges of leading and managing the ‘education revolution’ 5. Grange Teachers: promoting learning through working with colleagues, students and parents 6. Teachers and Policy: enacting the ‘education revolution’ in the classroom 7. Grange Students: the impact of teachers and peers on my learning 8. Students and Policy: partners with teachers in classroom policy enactment 9. Grange Parents: engaging with my child’s education 10. ‘It is our school; it is we, us, our.’
Lesley Scanlon is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia. Lesley has over 30 years’ experience in secondary schools, technical and further education, and universities. Her research interests include the formation of professional identities and the impact of education policy on disadvantaged schools.