The Quest for Revolution in Australian Schooling Policy
This book seeks to critically examine the impacts of 'grand designs' in public policy through a detailed historical analysis of Australian schooling reforms since the 'education revolution' agenda was introduced by the federal government in the late 2000s. Combining policy analyses and interviews with senior policy makers and ministerial advisors centrally involved in the reforms, it offers a detailed interpretive analysis of the complexities of policy evolution and assemblage. The book argues that the education revolution sought to impose a new order on Australian schooling by aligning state and territory systems to common policies and processes in areas including curriculum, assessment, funding, reporting and teaching. Using a theory and critique of 'alignment thinking' in public policy, Savage shows how the education revolution and subsequent reforms have been underpinned by uncritical faith in the power of nationally aligned data, evidence and standards to improve policies and unite systems around practices 'proven to work'. The result is a new national policy assemblage that has deeply reshaped the making and doing of schooling policy in the nation, generating complex questions about who is steering the ship of education into the future.
The Quest for Revolution in Australian Schooling Policy is a must read for education policy researchers, policy makers, education ministers and school leaders, and will appeal to anyone with an interest in the complex power dynamics that underpin schooling reforms.