Insider perspectives on influence and decision making in the Australian political sphere: A case study of national quality policy in ECEC 2006-09

Kathryn Bown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

THIS ARTICLE EMPLOYS A method known as 'eventalisation' (Foucault, 1988) to investigate influences on politicians' decision making for early childhood education and care (ECEC) policy in Australia. Eventalisation involves looking for multiple perspectives on the one 'event' and calls for a questioning of what might otherwise be thought of as self-evident (Foucault, 1988). The National Reform Agenda, an extensive program of national reform in the areas of competition, regulation and human capital, while seemingly developed by the Rudd Labor Government after their 2007 election win, was in fact a long-term policy agenda largely originating in the Australian state of Victoria circa 2004'05. This article presents an excavation of the National Reform Agenda policy undercurrent since the early millennium to illustrate the significant influence it had on ECEC policy 2006'09. Using a case study design involving interviews with politicians and key early childhood policy activists and advocates, this eventalisation argues that human capital discourses, while highly influential and widely disseminated in national ECEC policy reform, have limited capacity to support the generation of policy that comprehensively addresses fundamental policy problems in the ECEC field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalAustralasian Journal of Early Childhood
Volume39
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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