Commonwealth Council of Educational Administration and Management Conference Fredericton, June 72014 Alfred Deakin ProfessorJill BlackmoreDeakin University Feminist perspectives on socially just school governance and leadership in post- colonial, post-modern times Please cite as pressentation
Positioning myself • ‘Hanging off the edge’ and critiquing the centre. • Australia is geographically distant from its historical origins in the UK, previous economic dependence on USA, and ambivalent political (and I stand here and condemn the border protection policies against refugees ‘arriving by boat’) but increasingly economic relationship with Asia. • Australia is both colonised by white settlers and coloniser, typical of other settler-nation states such as Canada, the USA and NZ. As an Australian I am complicit in colonisation and therefore recognise our traditional owners in Australia, as I recognise First Nations people here in Canada. • As a feminist, I speak from the margins as a teacher and academic in advocating gender equity in schools, universities and workplaces as this promotes new possibilities for different masculinities as well.
Gender and the politics of difference • Gender is not the only form of difference that matters. “Race’, ethnicity and class matter, as do location (North /South, urban/rural) • In Anglophone nations, gender differences in educational achievement amongst boys and girls are greater based on socio-economic background (often proxy for ‘race’, rurality and ethnicity) than gender differences between boys and girls as ‘unified groups’. This is not necessarily the case in many developing economies. • Education is the site of contestation over the changing social relations of gender. Changing traditions and gender power relations within families, communities and workplaces confronts tradition, religious, cultural belief systems and male dominance, . • Violence against women and girls is an epidemic across all societies – domestic, as a tool of war, or religious and terrorist extremism
Feminist critical policy analysis • Identifying and critiquing the embedded assumptions of any theory or methodology • Questioning any policy by asking ‘what is the problem here’, why is it defined this way and why at this time? (BacchiThe Politics of Policy) • Seeking theories and data that have strong explanatory power about social change and equity • Focusing on who benefits, who decides, and with what effect with respect to social justice • Also means focusing on gender-, ‘race’- and class- privilege (Joan EvelineThe Politics of Advantage)
Privilege and Whiteness As a white female professorin education I am • Advantaged by my whiteness and also what has become my class position • Disadvantaged by gendered and racialised divisions of labour within organisations, within labour markets, within families and between the ‘public’ (work) and ‘private’ (family) domains. • Positioned within universities dominated by masculine forms of corporate ‘leaderism’ and knowledge hierarchies privileging ‘hard’ science over humanities and social sciences. (Blackmore 2010) A glass escalator rather than a glass ceiling?
Critical feminists as hoodies Using the ‘Critical’ word is becoming increasingly difficult in the English context, and as such people like us are increasingly positioned as a ‘hoodie’ research gang. At best I am seen as a necessary eccentric who is listened to politely but then ignored, and at worst my work is missing from official government websites that recommend reading for practitioners, and/or harassed as dangerously feral by neo-liberal knowledge workers. Being critical and doing critical work, is not new or dangerous or necessarily oppositional, but it is vitally important in these neo-liberal hard new times (Gunter, H. 2009 The ‘C’ word in educational research, Critical Studies in Education 50(1) 90-101 p. 94)
Worrying notions of post-colonialism, globalisation… • As a historian by training, notions of ‘post’ are questionable – whether post- colonial, post-modern or indeed ‘post- feminism’- as past legacies inform and frame present and future possibilities. History matters! • ‘Post colonial theory focuses on place, identity, difference, the nation and modes of resistance whereas the sociology of globalisation focuses on it as a justification and as an ideological tool to spread capitalism’. Context matters. • ‘While postcolonialism raises issues of domination, transnational networks require new narratives of colonisation’. • ‘But contemporary globalisation cannot be disassociated from its roots in European project of imperialism . We cannot understand how the economic logic of neoliberalism has come to dominate without considering the post colonial legacy’. • (Rizvi and Lingard2006)
Projects of globalisation • Globalisation not new: Asian globalisation, European imperialism late 19thC • What is different is the scope, scale, speed and mobility facilitated by technology ie. network society (Castells) • Globalisation is an ideology (e.g. neoliberalism), an imaginary (cosmopolitanism), and a historical and material manifestation of postmodernity and fast capitalism • Multiple contradictory economic, political and social processes that articulate differently at transnational, national and local levels • Involves multiple actors- • globalisation from above (governments, NGOs, multinational businesses, consultants, transnational bodie e.g. World Bank, IMF, WHO, UN, OECD) and • globalisation from below (social movements such as feminism, Occupy, Greenpeace, social media networks of Arab Spring…)
My case Critical historical moment for the field of education: as a discipline; as a professionand as a site of emancipatory hope, that requires rethinking Educational Leadership, Management and Administration. ELMA as a field is under threat with regard to its purpose, language and practices as • the field is being transformed by the rise of edu-capitalism, global policy forums and ‘governance by numbers’ • distinctive disjuncture between the policy rhetoric of 21st Century learning and the realities of practice in schools and classrooms • leadership practices in schools are shaped by global/local articulations in context specific ways • tension between who provides education and how access, participation, equity and high quality teaching (conditions for 21st C learning) can be achieved Education for All by 2015 : nominal deadline of universal access to quality education for all learners in shortest time frame within a framework of decent work for highly trained professional staff (Fyfe ILO 2007, 1)
Target 3.A Millenium Development Goals Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary educationin all levels of education by 2015 • Even as countries with the toughest challenges have made large strides, progress on primary school enrolment has slowed. • Globally, 123 million 15 to 24 year olds lack basic reading and writing skills. 61 per cent of them are young women. • Gender gaps in youth literacy rates are narrowing. (95 literate young women for every 100 young men in 2010) • Women now 40 /100 wage-earning jobs in the non-agricultural sector in 2011. BUT • Poverty is a major barrier to secondary education, especially among older girls. • Women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and economic assets, and participation in government: less secure jobs, fewer social benefits. • Violence against women and girls continues to undermine efforts to reach all MDG goals.
Globalisation from below • Women’s movement • Feminism has familial resemblances cross nationally supporting localized practices and supported by transnational organisations e.g. UNIFEM • works with and on the master’s tools to hold nation states and global policy forums accountable e.g. Gender Development Index , IWD Beijing 1995 informed MDG • Transnational advocacy groups • e.g. Global Education Action • zero child marriage; • zero child labour; • zero discrimination against girls; • zero exclusion from education.
Social justice Claims made upon the nation state and global forums Fraser, N. (1997) Justice Interruptus: Critical Reflections on the "Postsocialist" Condition. • Needs: basic food and from violence, child support, health, education, and welfare etc • Interests : recognition of group discrimination, oppression, disadvantage • Rights: to vote, travel, work, own property, to be listened to, to be heard and to be educated. Women’s claims have largely been successful only when based on needs (for their children as women’s interests aligned with their family) and/or when aligned with national (economic) interests. Otherwise women’s claims are treated as ‘particularist’ interests. Sen : ‘positive freedoms’ ie right to have the capacity for agency (education)
Nancy Fraser’s principles of social justice • Distributive justice: socio-economic processes. • Maldistributionarises from class inequality. • Recognitive justice: cultural processes, recognition of difference (bilingualism and learning). • Misrecognitionarises from hierarchical ways in which cultural value is accorded to individuals and groups (gender, race, religion, disability, class, language…) • Representation: political processes and participation. • Misrepresentationis when individuals or groups do not have an equal voice in decisionmaking that impacts on their lives. These are interconnected: as class inequality (maldistribution) often derives from gender and race inequality (misrecognition) and often leads to or is the result of misrepresentation and vv.
Dilemmas Dilemmas arise from often conflicting principles – ‘bivalent collectivities ‘ of ‘race’ and gender e.g. recognition of a cultural group can have unequal effects on women and girlsand lead to maldistribution or misrepresentation. • Parity of participation: beyond the token representative • the quality of material conditions and of social relationships ie. representation alone is inadequate, as need to be heard, respected, and have influence. • Able toquestion the value ofthose social goods
Globalisation from above:Project of neo-liberalism • Economic ideas originating from Chicago School of Economics and promoted by IMF and World Bank • Dominant since 1980s in Anglophone nations (UK, NZ, Australia) and some Commonwealth countries(South Africa) after tested in Chile and Mexico in 1970s • Rapid circulation of neoliberal ideology exemplifies rise of global policy arenas and networks of transnational policy actors(governments, faith based organisations, NGOs, policy makers, consultants, philanthropists…OECD, World Bank IMF) • (Lingard and RizviGlobalising Education Policy 2010)
Neoliberal theory • Advocated if not imposed through World Bank, IMF etc and OECD during 1980s: structural adjustment • Small ‘thin’ government • Reduced public expenditure • Pay national debts (back to IMF and World Bank..) • User pays • Market principles to distribute educational goods and service e.g. parental choice between competing self managing schools • Human capital theory : • individuals make rational choices to maximise their individual outcomes • more education leads to greater rewards in the labour market • Economic growth prioritised as wealth will trickle down
Neoliberalism • Economistic,Westcentric and androcentric in its assumptions • Instrumentalist view of education as the production of the entrepreneurial self-maximizing individual who is gender, class, ‘race’ and culturally neutral • (Fraser 2013)
Mechanism: New managerialism and corporatisation of education as field New Public Administration Mantra (1980s in Anglophone states) • Private sector management more efficient and effective than public sector • Generic manager: not to be confused by expertise or experience in the field of education • Producer capture: professionals self interested and should not inform policy but be controlled (professional standards, performance management, payment by results etc) • Governance based on subsidiarityie. devolve all risk and responsibility down to the individual school, leader, teacher and student with the self managing school (free schools, charter schools, self governing, academies…) • Competition in the market will produce both quality (and equity?) as bad schools fail • Equity is equated to individual choice as if everyone has same capacity (resources, knowledge, time….) to choose • Global and national scale: governance by numbers e.g. public ranking and comparison through nation states through PISA and nationally standardisedtestingto ‘facilitate choice’ (Special Issue Journal of Educational Administration and History 45(4) 2013)
Scalar Politics of Edu-capitalism • ‘New education philanthropy and social capitalism’ : • Multi-national corporations such as Pearson now offer the ‘full deal’ from teacher and leadership training through to curriculum and assessment packages, buildings and technology infrastructure in both developed and developing economies .e.g. Public Private Partnerships (Ball 2012: 68). • Multinational Policy actors: ‘Cartography of belief and advocacy’ • through a ‘generative network promote particular solutions (GERM), closely associated with philanthro-capitalists (Gates Foundation) and big business (Pearson) • Re-gendering of education as a global field • Education capitalists embody transnational masculinity: white, male western policy makers, entrepreneurs, consultants and philanthropists. Women constitute the majority of casualised teaching force.
Changing contexts for field of ELMA 21st Century : Edu- capitalism’s global project ? • 20th C Modernist (Westernised) democratic education project? • State now mediates education markets(National Quaification Frameworks) • State less a provider and more a regulator ieprivatisation • Individuals responsible for their own education as a positional good to gain comparative advantage ie. Possessive individualism • Professionalism redefined as expertise for hire iecontractualism, casualisation and feminisation • preference for weak voluntarist collectivism (philanthropy) rather than strong collectivism (unions) • Education investment by the state as a public and individual good • Education had intrinsic value for citizenship and social cohesion/identity • Teaching was a vocation and tenured career • Teachers advocates for education for social change ie emancipatory intent • Strong teacher unions linked to professionalism
Context Rising risk and educational anxiety • Generalised anxiety focusing on education – push for retaining (middle classes) or gaining (aspirational classes) comparative advantage eg. private schooling, international credentials, rise of IB as forms of distinction BUT The promise of education no longer fulfilled even for middle classes as increased unemployment of professional classes is emerging with the massification of higher education (Brown, Lauder 2010 The Global Auction)
Globalised education • Increased mobility and uneven flows inter-nationally and intra-nationally • people (student and teachers); • imagesof the norm of a ‘good school’; • products : curriculum(IB), learning technologies, certification, examinations, texts, transferrable credentials • money (outsourcing education research KPMG or Boston Consulting, Pearson) • policies (e.g. school choice) and GERM
GERM : Global Education Reform Movement (Sahlberg 2011 Finnish Lessons): epidemic infecting education GERM promotes models of school effectiveness and improvement (SEI) that interlinks with the emergent architecture of global governance including the IMF, World Bank, OECD, UNICEF and UNESCO. • Curricula are standardisedto fit to international student tests; • Students around the world study learning materials from global providers • Travels with pundits, media and politicians. • Education systems borrow policies from others and get infected. Schools get ill, teachers don’t feel well, and kids learn less.
Symptoms • Claims: Quality of education improves when schools compete therefore schools need more autonomy, and therefore more accountability. Evidence: when schools compete they cooperate less. 2. Claims: school choice positions parents as consumers empowering them to select schools for their children promising equal access to high-quality schooling for all. Evidence: decline in academic results and an increase in school segregation in advanced economies. 3. Claims: stronger accountability and related standardised testing to improve. Evidence: leads to teach to test, narrows curriculum and converts pedagogy into mechanistic instruction. Healthy school systems are resistant to GERM and its inconvenient symptoms.
Limits of SEIparadigm • Reluctance to engage with other research paradigms • Too strongly focused on short term (student achievement rather than student progress over time)(change takes up to 7-8 years for schools and students progress and regress) and difficult because of context to sustain improvement! • Focus on individual school as schools now work in complex partnerships and arrangements as centre of networks • Methodology inadequate: multilevel modelling reinforces dichotomies between school classroom and pupil factors least of all between school, networks , families and communities. (D. Muijs 2010 Effectiveness and disadvantage in education. In C. Raffo et al Education and Poverty in Affluent Countries)
Feminist and critical analysis of SEI SEI aligns with neoliberal agenda of privatisationand markets • focuses on standardised learning outcomes and quantitative research (‘policy by numbers’) (Lingard 2012); • Focus on individual schools in competition with each other fragments a sense of education as a‘ public good’ • ‘Effective schools’ are treated as having the same characteristics, and so comparisons can be made between ‘like’ schools as in MySchool (Australian website) (Thomson) . • Downplays the significant role of context and social mix of students in terms of what a school community, leaders and teachers can do (Thrupp and Lupton). • Ignores the intersections and multiplier effects between educational underachievement and spatial injustice, poverty, community lack of infrastructure and jobs, social exclusion due to race, class, gender differences and culture (Blackmore 2012)
Furthermore SEI • Devolves risk and responsibility onto individual schools, teachers, parents and students facilitating a failing school rather than a failing system discourse (Goldstein) • Misuse of notions of ‘autonomy’: more about schools doing more with less rather than facilitating professional judgement and autonomy (Gronn) • Leads to’ leaderism’ :a good leader is all that is required. Easy to blame leaders not systems. But hero leaders are not enough (Gunter). • Positions teachers (predominantly female) as the solution to educational underachievement (Hattie 2003, 2009). Ignores teachers’ work being casualisedand standardised (de-professionalised)(Hargreaves 2012) • Equates success (and equity) to quantifiable outcomes of academic educational underachievement (Lingard). • Produces a thin curriculum and pedagogical diet with little regard for aesthetic, physical, affective and ethical outcomes (Blackmore et al 2012)
Elaine Unterhalter: Beyond Access Gender Equity Project : Oxfam, UNESCO in developing economies • Historically, ELMA fails to address how the ‘lived experience’ of injustice impacts on girls and other marginalized groups and their capacity to learn (e.g. racial or sexual harassment); or to make connections between the dropout of girls and the gender dynamics of households, school and societies’; or to link pregnancy to ‘household and social, political or schooling processes’ (Unterhalter 2013). • The gender dynamics of exclusion and the interaction between private and public sites of discrimination require closer examination. • Social justice continues to be seen to be ‘the other’s’ concern and not that of mainstream ELMA, despite the claims to be addressing educational inequality.
Paradox 1: Increased polarisation between rich and poor students, schools and communities in affluent countries (Raffo et al 2010) • Market claims to deliver equity through parental choice, ‘principal autonomy, devolution BUT • Little evidence linking structural reforms (Charter Schools, Free Schools, Self Managing Schools or Academies) to improved student learning outcomes. • Fragments not nurtures social cohesion. • (Musset 2013 Review of School Choice OECD)
Place and context matter : Australia • PISAshows Anglophone nation states see a more direct relationship between ses background and wider gap in learning outcomes in more marketised and devolved systems E.g. Australia • Place matters due to locational disadvantage: educational underachievement is associated with high levels of poverty, intergenerational unemployment or underemployment, poor community health and well being, inadequate infrastructure (transport, health, educational and community service) concentrated in particular regions e.g. Australia (Teeseet al Educational Inequality 2007; Blackmore 2014) iemaldistribution • Parental choice has institutionalisedsocial divisions. People, given a choice, like to be with people like themselves: ‘homophily’ or ‘homosociability’ (Blackmore 2006)iemisrecognition”
Blueprint aimed at rebuilding Victorian public sector of schooling after 7 years of radical neoliberal restructuring towards a market system because students ’slipped through the cracks’ • Blueprint • leadership capacity building at all levels (beginning teacher to principal) through school based research activities • Strong research and policy division e.g. Linkage grants, partnerships with universities • Included schools in community capacity building projects together with other departments of community, health… • Invested in well designed built environment premised upon sound pedagogical principles ‘Had to do something significantly different for those struggling schools in high poverty areas’ (Senior bureaucrat after evaluation)
Enabling policy encouraging bottom up innovation : Leading Schools Fund • Required public schools within a locality to examine provision of schooling (K-12) • Innovative buildings linked to pedagogical purpose • Principals and teachers encouraged to travel, innovate and plan • New built environment linked to neighbourhood renewal and precincts (e.g. health, welfare, employment and education facilities in proximity) • Major reconfiguration of schooling in areas of locational disadvantage: senior/junior campuses, K-12, work annexes, science and technology schools on university campuses…. • ‘Schools within larger schools’ : pastoral care and belonging, interdisciplinary rich tasks, teams
Yuille Park Community College • Regional Community Hub • P-8, lifelong learning • Multi age Learning Pods (3) • Inquiry driven • Team teaching • Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden, ‘with chooks’
Leadership • Principles of deliberative democracy rather than distributed leadership: flat structure of staffing, shared decision-making and high level of commitment to renewal by teachers and community • Teacher leadership and research, team teaching and planning possible because of flexible grouping within 3 learning multiage- learning pods • Dedicated planning time • Experimentation and evaluation • Planning renewal over 7-10 years • Focus on improvement relative to advancement of each cohort group not just test outcomes
Victorian Lessons on School Reform • Community consultation to redesign school provided opportunities for teachers and leaders to create new partnerships and imagine new pedagogical possibilities • Changing teacher practice through encouraging experimentation and professional learning preceded changes in student learning • Required changing school andsystemwidecultures to support professional learning • Significant input at regional level of additional resources e.g. literacy and numeracy coaches • Community responded to recognition of individual needs and community interests as felt valued by government • Community reciprocated with increased voluntarism and engagement with the school, pride in and care of building, high payment of levies, monthly market, garden School as a social centre of community
Policy issue: innovation and politics • The issue is not about identifyng and scaling up models of ‘innovation’ or ‘effectiveness’ as measured against short term outcomes but about building local capacity for schools and communities to undertake sustainable reform • Balance between system support through enabling policies and resources to encourage systematic inquiry in schools • Mutual accountability between schools and systems for all students • Next conservative government changes policies :refusal to recognise past governments success • Neoliberal federal government refusing to fund states to maintain public sector quality of provision • www.learningspacesportal. • 12 OECD Case Studies of Innovative Learning Environments • Review of literature on Built learning environments • LEEP project (OECD) linking built environment to school improvement planning
Paradox 2Ongoing privatisation agenda despite lack of evidence regarding improved learning outcomes • Low fee private schooling: for-profit or philanthro-capitalism is expanding transnationally as local governments in many developing economies cannot afford to massify schooling and meet Education for All or Millenium Development Goals (Unterhalter 2006, 2008; Srivastava 2013). • a shift from ‘palliative to developmental giving’ to developing economies by the ‘joining up of epistemic, financial and policy endeavours’ instituted by transnational organizations e.g. Pearson, Gates Foundation. (Ball 2012: 68)
‘Low-fee Private school promise’ • Claims • Emerging Evidence • higher familial wealth, more likely to attend private schools; • poorer families select boys as perceived better investment and due to cultural norms (Pakistan, India, Ghana, Nigeria and Nepal) • take out loans which reducing household and other children’s opportunities (Ghana) • Investment in academic girl’s education to become low paid teachers in LFPS (Lahore) • Caste, wealth and social status are reproduced • Choices of lower castes and religious groups (Muslims) restricted • Entrench economic divisions, gender discrimination • higher association between ses, LFPS and secondary schooling • Private schools facilitate ’jumping the queue’ • Residualisespublic schools • Real choice even to parents with disadvantage therefore equitable • Provides schooling in rural areas where difficult to staff • Efficient and effective in terms of better learning outcomes than public schools • Treats education as investment for family
Teachers • public schools have better paid and more qualified and experienced teachers • LFPS have more untrained teachers, poorer buildings, greater insecurity etc. than government schools e.g. Pakistan • Precarious employment means less teacher absenteeism, more responsive to parental communication and student needs • Lower pupil teacher ratios and Teach to test • Lack of regulation makes claims difficult to assess • Teachers LFPS supplement income through homework classes Private tutoring effect the largest variable determining test scores (as in China, Japan and South Korea) Sources: MacPherson, S. Robertson, and G. Walford. Eds (2013) Education, Privatisation and Social Justice. Case studies from Africa. South Asia and South East Asia. P Strivasrava & G. Walford eds.(2007) Private schooling in Less Economically Developed Countries. Symposium Books.
Elite Independent Schools: going global • Global ethnography of one school in a number of former British colonies – Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Africa, Cyprus • Elite schools descended from the British ‘public’ school model are responding to globalisation and the implications for their social purposes; to serve the more privileged and powerful sectors. • Elite schools face competition from new elite commercial private schools e.g. India • Strategies of recruitment are now global • Students are agile, entrepreneurial, socially committed ie elite schools producing next generation of globally mobile corporate entrepreneurs and philanthro-capitalists that have more nuanced racialised and gendered subjectivities Source Kenway, Fahey et al (2011-4) Elite Independent Schools in Globalising Circumstances: A Multi-Sited Global Ethnography • Special Issue: Globalisation, Societies and Education 2014 12(2)
Social justice dilemmas • Whether low fee private schools aggravates equity, mitigates disadvantage and/or is just another form of neo-colonialism (Srivastava 2013) • Production of global less ‘racialised’ and ‘gendered’ elite as evident in social mix of cohorts of students in British elite schools (Kenway et al 2012) • Can increasingly contractualised educational relations (e.g. public private partnerships) provide increased access and equity as well as qualified, well supported and innovative teachers? • Implications of rise of both low fee private schools and consolidation of elite schooling for majority in government schools?
Paradox 3 Performative or knowledge building pedagogies: Singapore • Countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Finland ranked highly on international league tables so promoted as models elsewhere. • Discourse of 21st Century learner-earner or global knowledge worker • educated to acquire the capabilities of critical thinking, analysis, creativity, innovation, teamwork, digital and emotional literacy, intercultural sensitivity and good communication etc… • teachers as researchers, knowledge builders. • Singapore, Japan, South Korea have policies advocating these characteristics as system wide aims e.g. reduced cramming
Singapore’s ‘performative pedagogy’ (David Hogan) • Instructional regime is underwritten by • a distinct historical cultural and institutional commitment to a nation-building narrative of meritocratic achievement and social stratification, ethnic pluralism, collective values and social cohesion, • a strong, activist state and economic growth • Highly prescriptive national curriculum and tightly coupled textbooks • National high stakes assessment system • Public school system is highly integrated, well funded and coherent, with extensive curriculum resources and support from Ministry • Dedicated, well trained, highly competent, school leadership • progressively decentralized environment that preserves sufficient autonomy at the school level to ensure responsiveness to local circumstances and the professional judgement of teachers.
Pervasive folk pedagogy • “teaching is talking and learning is listening” • authority is “hierarchical and bureaucratic” • assessment is “summative” • knowledge is “factual and procedural” • classroom talk is teacher-dominated and “performative”
‘Stick to the textbook’ Performative pedagogy: Highly scripted, uniform across all levels and grades, pragmatic, fit for purpose, drawing on both Eastern and Western pedagogical traditions • Covers factual and procedural knowledge in preparation for tests • Functional cognitive activities (recall, memorize, practice, revision, drill) • Procedural and representational fluency / automaticity / mastery • Worked examples (Mathematics: 60%+ class time)