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Structuring, Governing and Managing the System for Equity Professor Bob Lingard, The University of Queensland, Australian College of Educators 2011 National Conference, 14-15 July, Sydney Equity in Education – Connecting for Change CRICOS Code: 00025B
Resources for Hope • ‘… the arc of the moral universe is long but bends toward justice.’ (Martin Luther King)
Structure of Keynote • Introductory remarks: the struggles for social justice in schooling ongoing, but the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice. • Conceptualising social justice. • Australian policy construction of social justice in schooling.: (the global as well) • Social inequality and equity in schooling. • Funding regimes. • Accountabilities and social Justice in schooling: ‘Opportunity to Learn Standards’. • ‘Informed prescription’ and ‘informed professionalism’: a model for system/school and school/teacher relationships, • Policy. • Teachers: ‘performance pay’; centrality to the social justice project in schooling: how can system policy frames support and enable rather than control and work as surveillance? Teacher & student relationships at the centre. • In/conclusion…
Conceptual Frame for Thinking about Social Justice in Education • Nancy Fraser (1997) Justice Interruptus and (2009) Scales of Justice. • Fraser sees justice as working in three analytically distinct dimensions: socio-economic (redistributive), cultural (recognitive) and political (representative). • Amartya Sen (1992): ‘capability to function’, ‘capabilities’ approach; Sen (2009) work against injustice. • Purposes of schooling: economic, citizenship, cultural, other capabilities, opportunity BUT schooling a ‘positional good’ and mechanism for social selection. • Neo-liberal present: ‘self-capitalizing’ individuals; individual vs collective well being; market vs state; choice vs regulation etc. • Rudd (2009): ‘the great neo-liberal experiment of the last thirty years has failed’ (p.25); ‘With the demise of neo-liberalism, the role of the state has been once more been recognised as fundamental’ (p.25). • The need for a new social imaginary (Rizvi & Lingard, 2010).
Articulation of Social Justice in Contemporary Australian Schooling • PISA: quality and equity: comparative performance and extent of gap between top and low performing students and effects of socio-economic background on performance on the test. • NAPLAN: My School Mark 1 and Mark 2: Like/Similar School measures: equity – improved performance on Similar Schools measures (ICSEA): takes attention away from structural inequalities -‘fatalism towards inequality’ – Power & Frandji (2010); ICSEA – ‘ecological fallacy’ of first SES measure on ICSEA (use of postcodes and censual districts). • Closing the Gap for Indigenous students: failure of recognition of difference, Indigenous knowledges and epistemologies. Gloria Ladson-Billings (2006): ‘education debt’. • Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA, December, 2008): Goal 1: Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence. (p.7) • ‘Achieving these educational goals is the collective responsibility of governments, school sectors and individual schools as well as parents and carers, young Australians, families, other education and training providers, business and the broader community’ (p.7). • Need statement: perhaps a rearticulation through a national conversation, taking account of the global.
‘Closing the Gap’ in Indigenous Education Policy • ‘I have argued that, at a broad level, the pragmatic politics of equality is over-determining Indigenous affairs public policy in contemporary Australia, while the more subtle and complex politics of difference and diversity is being excessively subordinated. Hiding behind the term ‘Closing the Gap’ and its statistical orientation is the enormous complexity of diverse, Indigenous, culturally-distinct ways of being’ (Altman, 2009, p.13). • Nancy Fraser: redistribution, recognition, representation.
Factors contributing to differential and unequal student learning outcomes • Student background, especially social class or socio-economic background, links between material/economic capital and cultural capital. • Teacher classroom practices (pedagogies and assessment practices).
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (2009) The Spirit Level . • Sub-title of book: ‘Why Equality is better for Everyone’. Basic position: rich nations have reached a level of affluence that no longer ensures gains in health, happiness or wellbeing (cf poor nations). • The way forward for rich nations: reducing the gap between rich and poor, reducing the amount of income inequality, poverty has effects but the extent of income inequality in a nation also has a strong and independent effect: ‘The evidence shows that reducing inequality is the best way of improving the quality of the social environment, and so the real quality of life, for all of us’ (p.29). • Re schooling: if a nation wants higher levels of achievement amongst all students: ‘it must address the underlying inequality which creates a steeper social gradient in educational achievement’ (p.30). (macro policy settings of more redistributive policies or more equal wage structure or combination). Policy implications?
Dennis Condron (2011) ‘Egalitarianism and Educational Excellence’, Educational Researcher, 40 (2), pp.47-55. • Addresses explanations for US’s comparatively poor performance on international comparisons such as PISA. • Challenges explanations offered solely in terms of ‘cross-national differences in educational systems’. • Rather, while not denying that systemic policy settings and schools can make a difference, demonstrates close correlations between amount/extent of social inequality and performance on such educational performance comparisons. • Explores question of am ‘equality-achievement trade-off’ in schooling in affluent societies re comparative performance. • Uses 2006 PISA data and the Gini Coefficient as measure of social inequality (zero represents a perfectly equal distribution of income and 100 a perfectly uneven distribution). • Finding: the more equal / egalitarian societies, in terms of correlations at least, have higher average educational achievement, a higher percentage of high performing students and a low percentage of very low-skilled students. • Sets argument and evidence against changing macro-policy settings: US from Roosevelt’s New Deal until end of Cold War: from ‘egalitarian capitalism’ to ‘market capitalism’; this period ‘has seen income inequality increase as real wages have stagnated or declined for everyone except those at the top’ (p.52). ’.
Dennis Condron (2011) contd. • ‘The evidence reveals a negative association between economic inequality and average achievement among the affluent countries considered here. Less egalitarian societies have lower average achievement, lower percentages of very highly skilled students, and higher percentages of very low-skilled students. In direct contrast, egalitarian societies have higher average achievement, higher percentages of very highly skilled students and lower percentages of very low-skilled students. Rather than facing an equality-achievement trade-off in which redistributing resources comes at the cost of producing few very high achievers, egalitarian societies are achieving compatible goals by producing highly skilled students while maintaining relatively low levels of economic inequality’ (p.53).
Dennis Condron (2011) contd. • ‘Schools are embedded within the economic systems of their societies, and where economic systems have high inequality, overcoming the impact of this inequality on students’ learning will be more difficult’ (p.54). • Schools and teachers can make a difference BUT… • Take-up of John Hattie’s (2009)Visible Learning (London, Routledge) interesting sociology of knowledge issue in this context. • ‘It is not a book about what cannot be influenced in schools – thus critical discussions about class, poverty, resources in families, and nutrition are not included – but this is NOT because they are unimportant, indeed they may be more important than many of the influences discussed in this book’ (pp. viii-ix).
Linda Darling-Hammond (2010) • The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity will Determine our Future (New York, Teachers College Press).
Linda Darling-Hammond (2010) • ‘Creating schools that enable all children to learn requires the development of systems that enable all educators and schools to learn. At heart, this is a capacity-building enterprise leveraged by clear, learning goals and intelligent, reciprocal accountability systems that guarantee skillful teaching in well-designed, adequately resourced schools for all learners. It is not only possible but imperative that America close the achievement gap among children by addressing the yawning opportunity gap that denies these fundamental rights. Given the critical importance of education for individual and societal success in the flat world we now inhabit, inequality in the provision of education is an antiquated tradition the United States can no longer afford’ (p.327).
Linda Darling-Hammond (2010) • ‘As the fate of individuals and nations is increasingly interdependent, the quest for access to an equitable, empowering education for all people has become a critical issue for the American nation as a whole. As a country we can and must enter anew era. No society can thrive in a technological, knowledge-based economy by depriving large segments of its population of learning. The path to our mutual well-being is built on educational opportunity. Central to our collective future is the recognition that our capacity to survive and thrive ultimately depends on ensuring to all of our people what should be an unquestioned entitlement – a rich and inalienable right to learn’ (p.328).
Growing inequality in Australia • OECD (2011) Growing Income Inequality in OECD Countries: What drives it and how can policy tackle it? Paris, OECD. • AB Atkinson and Andrew Leigh (2006) ANU Discussion paper, The Distribution of Top Incomes in Australia: 1920: 2002. • 1920s – mid 1940s: income share of top income group fell; rose briefly after war and fell through until early 1980s; 1980s and 1990s top income share rose rapidly and at the turn of the century: top share highest for past 50 years; share of top income group correlates with extent of overall social inequality.
Current Review of Funding for Schooling (Gonski Review) • Relationship between social inequality and inequality of provision of schooling. • Review’s Emerging Issues Paper: the place of explicit values – ‘…differences in educational outcomes should not be a result of differences in wealth, income, power or possessions’ (p.18). • Basis for funding of government and non-government schools; taking account of background differences of students in different sectors. • Choice versus Equity.
Accountabilities • Accountability: to give an account; numbers and narratives. • Direction: downward gaze: test driven; need bottom-up as well; ‘Opportunity to Learn Standards’; vertical, need horizontal as well; temporal – Indigenous Australians. • Accountable for what: NAPLAN Scores; My School Similar Schools measures; Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, December, 2008.
Accountability: systems to schools and communities Opportunity to Learn Standards ‘A linchpin in these efforts to secure more equitable education is the creation of opportunity-to-learn (OTL) standards that attend to the opportunity gap as well as the achievement gap’ (Darling-Hammond, 2010, p.310). ‘OTL standards have been variously defined in proposals and legislation as the opportunity to learn the curriculum assessed in state standards, access to the resources needed for success in the curriculum – such as teachers who are well qualified to teach the curriculum, appropriate curriculum materials, technology, and supportive services – and access to other resources needed to succeed in school and life’ (Darling-Hammond, 2010, p.310).
Accountabilities • Linda Darling-Hammond (2010, p.301): In addition to standards of learning for students, which focus the system’s efforts on meaningful goals, this will require standards of practice that can guide professional training, development, teaching, and management at the classroom, school, and system levels, and opportunity to learn standards that ensure appropriate resources to achieve the desired outcomes. Opportunity to Learn Standards: systems and schools.
Accountabilities Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? (T.S. Eliot, The Rock, 1960) Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. (Albert Einstein) Numbers and Narratives.
High Stakes Testing • Globalized policy discourse in education: ‘A key purpose of assessment, particularly in education, has been to establish and raise standards of learning. This is now a virtually universal belief – it is hard to find a country that is not using the rhetoric of needing assessment to raise standards in response to the challenges of globalization’. (Stobart, 2008, p.24) • 2008 NAPLAN results in Queensland – Masters Report, My School.
Context of Reductive, Performative Accountabilities • Lyotard (1994): death of meta-narratives: emergence of ‘performativity’ – ‘be operational (that is commensurable) or disappear’ (Lyotard, 1984, p.xxiv); input-output equationand keeping the system operative. • ‘Performativity is a technology, a culture and a mode of regulation that employs judgments, comparisons and displays as a means of incentive, control, attrition and change – based on rewards and sanctions (both material and symbolic). The performances (of individual subjects or organisations) serve as a measure of productivity or output or displays of ‘quality’…’ (Ball, 2006, p.144.) • ‘The issue of who controls the field of judgment is crucial. One key issue of the current educational reform movement may be seen as struggles over the control of the field of judgment and its values’ (Ball, 2006, p.144).
Purposes of schooling, school vision and accountability • The Shape of the Australian Curriculum, Version 2.0, December, 2010: 10 General Capabilities and 3 Cross-Curriculum Priorities. • Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, December 2008.
General Capabilities • The Shape of the Australian Curriculumidentifies ten general capabilities to be addressed in the Australian curriculum. • The general capabilities are literacy, numeracy, ICT, thinking skills, creativity, self management, teamwork, intercultural understanding, ethical behaviour and social competence. Particular attention has been given to the incorporation of literacy, numeracy, ICT, thinking skills and creativity into the draft Australian curriculum for English, mathematics, science and history. • This work has been undertaken by writing teams, supported by expert advisers. The incorporation of the ten general capabilities into the curriculum is described in the “Organisation of the learning area” section for each learning area. • Implications for accountability at system & school levels (organisational, curricula and extra-curricula)?
Cross-Curriculum Priorities • The Australian Curriculum must be both relevant to the lives of students and address the contemporary issues they face. With this and the education goals of the Melbourne Declaration in mind, the curriculum gives special attention to three priorities: • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures will allow all young Australians the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, their significance for Australia and the impact these have had, and continue to have, on our world. • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia will allow all young Australians to develop a better understanding of the countries and cultures of the Asia region. Students will develop an appreciation of the economic, political and cultural interconnections that Australia has with the region. • Sustainability will allow all young Australians to develop an appreciation of the need for more sustainable patterns of living, and to build the capacities for thinking and acting that are necessary to create a more sustainable future. • The cross-curriculum priorities are embedded in all learning areas as appropriate. When planning teaching and learning programs for the Australian curriculum, teachers will notice that the three cross-curriculum priorities have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to the learning area. • Implications for accountability?
Preamble to Melbourne Declaration • ‘As a nation Australia values the central role of education in building a democratic, equitable and just society that is prosperous, cohesive and culturally diverse, and that values Indigenous cultures as key part of the nation’s history, present and future’. (p.4) • ‘Schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians, and in ensuring the nation’s ongoing economic prosperity and social cohesion’. (p.4) • Major changes in the world with implications for schooling (pp.4-5).
Melbourne Declaration (2008, p7) • ‘Improving educational outcomes for all young Australians is central to the nation’s social and economic prosperity and will position young people to live fulfilling lives’. • Young Australians are therefore placed at the centre of the Melbourne Declaration and Educational Goals’ • These goals are: Goal 1: Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence. Goal 2: All young Australians become: successful learners, confident and creative individuals, active and informed citizens.
Successful Learners • Develop capacity to learn • Have essential skills in literacy ands numeracy… are creative and productive users of technology… • Are able to think deeply and logically, …obtain and evaluate evidence… • Are creative, innovative and resourceful, …able to solve problems… • Are able to plan activities independently, collaborate, work in teams, and communicate ideas. • Are able to make sense of their world… • Are on pathways to continual success… • Are motivated to reach their full potential.
Confident and creative individuals • Have sense of self-worth, self-awareness and personal identity... • Have a sense of optimism about their lives and future • Are enterprising, show initiative and use their creative abilities • Develop personal values and attributes... • Have the knowledge, skills, understanding and values to establish and maintain healthy, satisfying lives • Have the confidence ... To pursue university or post-secondary vocational qualifications... • Relate well to others... maintain healthy relationships. • Are ...prepared for their potential ...roles as family, community and workforce members. • Embrace opportunities...accept responsibility for their own actions.
Active and informed citizens . Act with moral and ethical integrity . Appreciate Australia’s social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, and have an understanding of Australia’s system of government, history and culture. . Understand and acknowledge the value of Indigenous cultures… . Are committed to national values of democracy, equity and justice… . Are able to relate and communicate across cultures…participate in civic life . Work for the common good, in particular sustaining and improving natural and social environments . Are responsible global and local citizens.
Rich, intelligent accountabilities as opposed to reductive and performative ones • Recognise the responsibilities of all actors: governments, systems, schools, students, communities and parents; • Acknowledge the broad purposes of schooling; numbers and narratives; • Challenge view that improved test results on NAPLAN are necessarily indicative of improved and more socially just schooling (perverse effects when numbers become targets); • Reject the top-down, one-way gaze on teachers as a sole source of and solution to all schooling problems; gaze in multiple directions (‘opportunity to learn standards’); BUT also recognise the centrality of teachers; teacher-student relationship central. • Recognise the centrality of informed teacher judgment and quality of pedagogies to achieving better learning outcomes for all; • Value teachers & principals, their professional knowledges and have them inform accountability policy and practices; • Systemically: recognise the need to address poverty and challenge social inequality.
Accountability and Non-Academic Outcomes and Goals of Schooling • Do we need outcome measure on the broad aspects of the Social Justice, including democratic citizenship goals of schooling? What is counted is what counts. • James Ladwig (2010) ‘Beyond Academic Outcomes’, Review of Research in Education, 34. • ‘But as Max Weber and Jurgen Habermas have long warned, the imposition of the means-end rationality required in schooling, and in research that attempts to trace causal chains, is a double-edged sword. That is, whenever the more we attempt to gain a better grasp and instrumental control over forms of human life that currently escape the controls of our institutions, our bureaucracies, the more we colonize most of our ‘life world’ within a restrictive logic of system input-output prediction. Understanding the call for nonacademic outcomes and the need to know more about the calls for schooling to promote nonacademic outcomes within this sociophilosophical view allows us to query which programs have what effect for whom. From this view we can also reflectively question just how much measurement we want, of what’ (Ladwig, 2010, p.136).
System/School Relationships • Andreas Schleicher (2008): high performing schooling systems – ‘informed prescription’ combined with ‘informed professionalism’. • ‘Ultimately, therefore, the challenge for modern education systems is to create a knowledge-rich profession in which those responsible for delivering educational services in the frontline have both the authority to act and the necessary information to do so intelligently, with access to effective support systems to assist them in serving an increasingly diverse client base of students and parents’ (Schleicher, 2008, p.85).
Policy and Teachers • National Partnership Low SES Schools: hugely redistributive, but framed by strategic increases in NAPLAN scores as main outcome accountability measure and by a form of ‘performance pay’ for teachers. Context of growing inequality. • Contrast with the Disadvantaged Schools Program (1974-1996): three broad goals: 1. to ensure all young people gained ‘the fundamental skills necessary to participate fully and equally in society and have the opportunity to share in its culture’; 2. to ensure that schooling was ‘enjoyable and fruitful in itself’, not only in relation to later life; 3. the aspiration for schools ‘through successful interaction with their communities’ to become ‘less alienated from their communities than is now generally the case in disadvantaged areas’ (Schools Commission, 1973, pp.93-94). Context of attempts to ameliorate social inequality. • National Partnership Teacher Quality: teaching quality; Performance pay for teachers in context of teaching as a mass profession: AITSL teacher standards and competencies:, lead teachers.
Performance Pay for Teachers • ‘Merit pay that singles out individual teachers for annual bonuses has been especially problematic: It creates temporary rewards that do little for long-term salaries or retention, and has been found to be demotivating for most teachers – both to those who fail to receive it and to those who receive it one year and not the next. Many teachers report feeling insulted by the idea that they would only work hard for children in the face of what they see as a bribe. By encouraging competition rather than collaboration, individual merit pay bonuses do little to improve teachers’ collective knowledge and skills, even potentially reducing learning by discouraging sharing of ideas, lessons, and materials’ (Darling-Hammond, 2010, pp.318-319). • ‘These findings mirror what researchers who look at private industry have found: Pay is generally less important for motivating employees than are well-run collegial settings, opportunities to learn, and the intrinsic rewards of becoming efficacious at one’s work’ (Darling-Hammond, 2010, p. 319). • Andy Hargreaves (2010) ‘Presentism, Individualism, and Conservatism: The Legacy of Dan Lortie’s Schoolteacher: A Sociological Study’, Curriculum Inquiry, 40 (1), pp.143-154.
Andy Hargreaves • ‘Teachers’ work has been manipulated by top-down reformers of all political persuasions. Reformers have been prepared to alter teacher individualism and play with presentism, but the one variable they have refused to change is their own social and political conservatism and its insistence on top-down accountability connected to narrowly tested system outcomes in relation to restricted conceptions of curriculum and learning’ (Hargreaves, 2010, p.151).
In/conclusion… Three Overarching Principles, framed by considerations of redistribution, recognition, representation and care 1. Place productive teacher/student relationships and the learning of both at the centre (backward map from there). 2. Articulate Equity and Social Justice Goals and then create Opportunity to Learn Standards so goals can be achieved for all students. 3. Articulate capabilities to be achieved by all students
In/conclusion… • Contribute to a conversation about conceptualising social justice in schooling: a national policy frame? Work against injustice. • Social Inequality and equity in schooling: schools cannot compensate for society, but can make a difference. • Equity as the driving principle for funding of all schools. • Reconceptualise richer, more intelligent forms of accountability: work towards ‘Opportunity to Learn Standards’ – what required to achieve Melbourne Declaration, Goal 1? • Accountabilities beyond test results: Australian curriculum: general capabilities, cross-curricular priorities; Melbourne declaration. • Conceptualising a system structured around ‘informed prescription’ and ‘informed professionalism’. • Policy and teachers;
In/conclusion Politics of this: • Wilkinson and Pickett argument: more equality better for all of us. • Darling-Hammond: individual and national fates symbiotically linked. • ‘What the best and wisest parent wants for his (sic) own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon it destroys our democracy’ (John Dewey, 1900, p.3) and socially unjust.
References • Altman, J. (2009) Beyond Closing the Gap: Valuing Diversity in Indigenous Australia, ANU, CAEPR Working Paper, No 54. • A. B. Atkinson & A Leigh (2006), The Distribution of Top Incomes in Australia: 1920: 2002, Canberra, ANU Discussion paper. • Ball, S. J. (2006) Education Policy and Social Class, London, Routledge. • Dennis Condron (2011) ‘Egalitarianism and Educational Excellence’, Educational Researcher, 40 (2), pp.47-55. • Darling-Hammond, L. (2010) The Flat World and Education How America’s Commitment to Equity will determine our Future, New York, Teachers College Press. • Dewey, J. (1900) School and Society, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. • Fraser, N. (1997) Justice Interruptus, New York, Routledge.
References contd. • Fraser, N. (2009 Scales of Justice, New York, Columbia University Press. • Hargreaves, A. (2010) ‘Presentism, Individualism, and Conservatism: The Legacy of Dan Lortie’sSchoolteacher: A Sociological Study’, Curriculum Inquiry, 40 (1), pp.143-154. • Hattie, J. (2009) Visible Learning, London, Routledge. Ladwig, J. (2010) • Lyotard, F. (1984) The Postmodern Condition, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. • Power, S. and Frandji, D. (2010) ‘Education markets, the new politics of recognition and the increasing fatalism towards inequality’, Journal of Education Policy, 25, 3, pp.385-396. • Rizvi, F. and Lingard, B. (2010) Globalizing Education Policy, London, Routledge. • Rudd, K. (2009) ‘The global financial crisis’, The Monthly, February, pp.20-29. • Sahlberg, P. (2007) Education policies for raising student learning: the Finnish approach, Journal of Education Policy, 22 (2), pp.147-171
References contd. • Schleicher, A. (2008) ‘Seeing school systems through the prism of PISA’ in A.Luke, K.Weir and A.Woods (eds) Development of a Set of Principles to guide a P-12 Syllabus Framework, Brisbane, Queensland Studies Authority.. • Sen, A. (1992) Inequality Reexamined, Oxford, Oxford University Press. • Sen, A. (2009) The Idea of Justice, London, Penguin. • Stobart, G. (2008) Testing Times: The uses and abuses of assessment, London, Routledge. • Townsend, T. (2001) ‘Satan or Saviour?’ An analysis of two decades of school effectiveness research, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 12 (1), pp.115-129.
References contd. • Wilkinson, R. and Pickett, K. (2009) Spirit Level Why Equality is Better for Everyone, London, Penguin. • Wrigley, T., Thomson, P. and Lingard, B. (Eds) (2012) Changing Schools, London, Routledge.