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Schooling for a Fair Go

Schooling for a Fair Go

Edited by John Smyth, Robert Hattam and Michael Lawson


Australians have traditionally prided themselves in having one of the most egalitarian school systems in the world. In the post-war years it was not unreasonable to argue that schools were committed to educating for a fair go.

Regardless of background, schools were seen as a social escalator for many, but there is mounting evidence to suggest that this popular idiom is in deep and possibly terminal trouble, as user-pay reforms of the new "ruthless economy" drive deep wedges into an increasingly fragmented and deeply divided society. It seems that wealth, status and privilege are the central determining features of schooling for the new millennium. The various contributors to this book expose the erosion and corrosion occurring in public education, and provide an analysis of how the reclamation might occur through a restoration of schools as democratic public spheres. The kinds of questions pursued are:

  • What qualities of citizenship should Australian schools emphasise?
  • What should be the focus of a distinctly Australian cultural studies in school curricula?
  • How can education nurture a more democratic sphere?
  • What is an appropriate education response to the emerging forms of information technology?
  • How can educators benchmark social objectives for education in a multicultural society, and how can we be sure we are achieving them?
  • What should you look for in your neighbourhood school?


Schooling for a fair go: (re)making Aust’s social fabric
Robert Hattam, John Smyth and Michael Lawson
Nurturing democracy in schools
Jennifer Gore and James Ladwig
What qualities of citizenship should Australian schools emphasis?
Lucas Walsh and Michael Salvaris
"Its not easy being Australians": Education in a multicultural and multi-racist society
Michael Garbutcheon-Singh
Re-Tooling Schooling?: Information technology, cultural change, and the future(s) Australian education
Bill Green and Chris Bigum
Doing critical cultural studies: an antidote to being done to
Robert Hattam, Geoff Shacklock and John Smyth
What to look for in your neighbourhood school
John Smyth, Michael Lawson and Robert Hattam

References/ Index

Published October 1998
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862872967
Australian RRP $22.00
International Price $19.00
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