Open Forum: Is What is Good for Business Good for Schools?
- When: 13th June
- Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
- Location: John Goodsell Room 119, UNSW
Autonomy, Liberation, Freedom and Local Decisions: Good for Business but is it Good for Public Schooling?
This year the School of Education is holding a series of forums in which contentious issues relating to the field of education will be discussed by academics, practicing teachers and interested parties. Four times a year an expert will be invited to speak on a current issue, presenting controversial arguments that will be relevant to education professionals. Headlining the series will be Dr Scott Eacott of the University of Newscastle and Prof Colin Evers (UNSW) on the 13th of June when the topic, "Autonomy, Liberation, Freedom and Local Decisions: Good for Business but is it Good for Public Schooling?" will be up for debate. It is with great pleasure that we announce this event and encourage all practicing teachers and educational professionals to join us in discussion.
As our nation is being swept once again with moves toward greater level of autonomy for schools it is timely to ask questions of such a move. At its most basic, what is it we seek autonomy from? That is, while bureaucratic structures are frequently demonised, is autonomy what is really required to achieve the changes in public education that we seek, or is it yet another seductive term taken from the corporate world? Research, and experience, tells us that the closer decisions are made to coalface the greater buy-in from staff, and ultimately better outcomes for students. However history shows that it is common sense arguments that detract from some of the larger social matters overlooked in the adoption of business models of educational management. Drawing on a range of experiences in schools, research on school leadership and public discourse, in this presentation I seek to problematise the arguments for school autonomy and suggest alternate paths which would be more productive and fruitful in advancing the goals of public education in Australia.
Dr Scott Eacott, PhD, is a senior lecturer, convenor of educational leadership programs and leader of the Educational Leadership, Management and Administration (ELMA) research group at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Prior to entering higher education, he worked in the NSW public school system, most recently as an assistant principal. His school based experience includes schools ranging from small isolated communities to large regional centres and different geographic locations. Scott's research interests are theorising leadership; school leadership preparation and development; and re-conceptualising strategy in the school leadership context. His latest book 'School leadership and strategy in managerialist times' is published by Sense Publishers.
Professor Colin Evers is a Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of New South Wales. Prior to that appointment he was Professor of Education at The University of Hong Kong. His research interests include educational leadership, administration and policy, philosophy of education, and research methodology. His interest in research methodology flows from a perspective on epistemology that is naturalistic and coherentist, and he is currently co-editing a Special Issue of the journal Comparative Education devoted to an examination of the relationship between Confucian heritage cultures and methodology.
To register for this event please click here.