Claims for the necessity of standardised testing to ensure a high-performing education system have been dominated by neoliberal agendas. Framed by discourses of performativity and outcomes, standardised testing has been extolled by Western governments as means to excellence in response to global capitalism’s call for human capital formation. Extant commentary, however, argues a focus on economic imperatives has a detrimental impact on the broader purpose and significance of education for a democratic society. This research explores how reporting of Australia’s National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in the print media subverts attempts of democratic imperatives in Australian schools. Findings reveal how stagnant and/or declining results in NAPLAN are reported as resultant of ‘leftish fads’ crowding a curriculum critics argue should maintain focus on fundamentals of numeracy and literacy. The presence of ‘educational encounters’ reinforcing values of equity, tolerance, and diversity are deemed as ‘educational risks’ jeopardising individual achievement and global comparisons through cultural pollution and political indoctrination. Drawing on Connell’s (2013) ‘educational encounters’ and Beck and Beck-Gernsheim’s articulation of individualisation and risk (2004), we suggest a hegemonic neoliberal logic of education subverts education’s capacity to enable encounters that strive for social cohesion, respect, and appreciation for cultural, social, and religious diversity.
|Publication status||Published - 02 Dec 2018|
|Event||Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (SAANZ) 2018 - Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand|
Duration: 03 Dec 2018 → 07 Dec 2018
|Conference||Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (SAANZ) 2018|
|Period||03/12/18 → 07/12/18|