NAPLAN and the commodification of parenting

Kellie Bousfield, Angela Ragusa

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Examining submissions to the 2010 Senate Inquiry regarding the administration and reporting of the National Assessment Program's Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), this research considers the way parenting perceptions and practices towards standardized testing in Australian schools reflects the heightened insecurity and uncertainty pervading modern society. Findings reveal a cultural production of performance expectation leads some parents to contribute and participate in a growing and thriving NAPLAN industry. Qualitative findings demonstrate fear of NAPLAN inadequacy prompted parents to engage in a range of educational consumption practices, such as purchase practice-books, engage private tutors and/or enrol their children in private coaching colleges, in an effort to maximise their child's NAPLAN performance. Findings suggest the commodification of NAPLAN culturally frames parents as consumers who can, and indeed ought, to buy improved NAPLAN results. The commodification of parenting, and moreover schooling, ignores social and structural determinants predictive of educational performance, and thus is argued to feed a market dismissive of recognised sources of ongoing social inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference
Subtitle of host publicationReflections, Intersections and Aspirations: 50 Years of Australian Sociology
EditorsNick Osbaldiston, Catherine Strong, Helen Forbes-Mewett
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherThe Sociological Association of Australia (TASA)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780646911267
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event2013 TASA Conference - Monash University, Caulfield campus, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 25 Nov 201328 Nov 2013


Conference2013 TASA Conference
Abbreviated titleReflections, intersections and aspirations: 50 years of Australian sociology
OtherThe conference celebrates 50 years of Australian Sociology and is hosted by the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University. The conference will be held at the conveniently located Caulfield campus directly opposite the Caulfield train station – a short train ride to Melbourne city centre. Monash last hosted the conference in 1999 and has since continued to develop a national and international standing with the capacity to advance sociology as a discipline.
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