John Mccollow

John Mccollow
Queensland Teachers Union - Retired

PhD

About

124
Publications
18,359
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83
Citations
Citations since 2017
39 Research Items
22 Citations
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Publications

Publications (124)
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Communication with parents is an essential element of good teaching and an area where many teachers feel less than fully competent. "How to Deal with Parents …" has lots of practical tips supported by academic research, and anecdotes and commentary by practicing teachers. More importantly, the book provides many opportunities to reflect on one’s ow...
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Bri Lee’s book is an examination of how education is implicated in relations of power and privilege through a stream of consciousness account of her personal experiences, idiosyncratic recounting of various historical and contemporary examples, and insightful, highly entertaining and often scathing commentary.
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Rincón-Gallardo argues that mass compulsory schooling was created to meet the needs of a rapidly industrialising society in the 19th Century and, despite massive social and economic changes since then, has largely maintained the ethos, purposes and modus operandi of its industrial revolution roots. He identifies four unsuccessful attempts to “overr...
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In this book University of Queensland professor Ian Hardy examines how teachers and administrators “navigate the vicissitudes of increased processes of accountability in increasingly neo-liberal and managerial conditions in schooling settings” (p. 17). Hardy is also interested in identifying ways that more educationally appropriate accountability p...
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Bruce Pascoe’s book Dark Emu, published in 2014, argued that pre-colonial Aboriginal societies had been misunderstood and misrepresented, that there is evidence that many Aboriginal people lived settled lives and engaged in sophisticated animal and plant husbandry that arguably amounted to “agriculture”. Farmers or Hunter-Gatherers? is a book-lengt...
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The Black Lives Matter movements in the USA and Australia have reminded us that issues of race remain highly divisive and volatile. We have a long way to go in working out how to live together. Schools should be playing an important role in this task. And yet … This book's title acknowledges that dealing with race issues in one’s classroom is an ex...
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As a case study of how past policies and practices (even in the face of their official repudiation) continue to have a profound influence on the present, Christie's book has much to teach us. While the legacy of apartheid is specific to South Africa, the inequalities inherent in Western epistemology and Western social and economic development (mani...
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Alan Reid argues that ‘Australian education policy needs a new narrative, one that is sturdy enough to replace the pinched discourse that has been dominant for so long’ (p. xiv). In this book, Reid provides a thorough critique of prevailing policy and practice in the schooling sector and proposes an alternative rationale for reform, one based on th...
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Engaging Schooling is the second book to arise from an extended partnership between researchers at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and a group of schools in south-western Sydney. Two research projects, entitled “Teachers for a Fair Go” and “Schooling for a Fair Go” respectively, have explored effective ways of engaging students from low soci...
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This book develops three broad themes: It opens with an overview and critique of current approaches to reform in the schooling sector. Durrant then provides a research-based analysis of how teachers and school leaders have responded to current trends in school reform.Finally, Durrant makes a well-argued case for an alternative approach to school re...
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Drawing on insights derived through a two-year ethnographic study of four American schools, this book builds our understanding of what professional collaboration looks like and how it can be achieved.
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Thomas Mayor is a Torres Strait Islander born and raised in Darwin. He participated in the historic meeting at Uluru that produced the Uluru Statement, a document that eloquently sets out both a fundamental challenge facing Australia and a way forward if we are ever to reconcile who we are with what we ought to be. Mayor was profoundly moved and in...
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This book is based on three important premises: that ‘democracy … [is] a prerequisite for good societies and essential for the fulfillment of human rights’; that education can and should play an integral role in building and sustaining democracy, and that the future of democracy remains uncertain, therefore efforts by educators to foster and protec...
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Let the Children Play sets out the case for three important propositions: that play makes a critical contribution to the intellectual, physical and emotional growth of children; that recent developments in and approaches to schooling are crowding out play from the curriculum; and that play can and should be re-integrated into the school curriculum.
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It is now over thirty years since the demise of the long political career of Joh Bjelke-Petersen and nearly fifteen years since his death, the latter controversially marked by a state funeral. Bjelke Blues, as its subtitle states, is a collection of “stories” about life during the Joh era in Queensland.
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The Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy (CYAAA) is a partnership between the Queensland Department of Education and Training (DET) and Good to Great Schools Australia (GGSA). The CYAAA has operated in the remote Queensland communities of Coen, Aurukun and Hope Vale. While Aurukun is no longer a campus, the CYAAA continues to operate at Coen and...
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It is a long-standing axiom of school improvement literature, supported by much research, that professional collaboration amongst teachers has numerous benefits for both teachers (improved morale) and their students (more learning, better results). However, in many schools the professional culture stubbornly remains one of individualism.
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Surreal Change is the “professional autobiography” of well-known education reform guru Michael Fullan. In it, Fullan tells the story of his career – the ideas, people and circumstances that have shaped it. For Fullan’s many followers in the education community, this book provides a fascinating insight into how his ideas have developed over time. Fu...
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This is a review of Demoralized by Doris A. Santoro. This relatively short and readable book develops some important themes and arguments concerning teacher quality and the well-documented problems of teacher stress, dissatisfaction and turnover.
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Teacher unions have along, if variable, history of involvement in teacher education, development, and growth, and they have been, and still are, significant education stakeholders in many localities across the world. However, there is a relatively small body of literature that examines the involvement of teacher unions in professional issues general...
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This is a review from The Queensland Journal of Labour History of Deborah Jordan's compilation of and commentary on the love letters of two important Twentieth Century figures in Australian culture: Vance and Nettie Palmer
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This is a review of a short and informative guide to a condition that affects a small minority of students, but which can have severe consequences for these students and create high levels of frustration, stress and anger for their parents and teachers.
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This book is one of a range of resources, including several other books and a collection of on-line documents and videos created as a part of a large international research project funded by the Center on International Education Benchmarking of the National Center on Education and the Economy and carried out by the Center for Opportunity Policy in...
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Hard Questions on Global Educational Change is a collection of seven essays, book-ended by an introductory and concluding chapter written by the editors. The “hard questions” examined concern: parental choice; standardised testing; teacher preparation; teacher unions; the role of technology; preparation for employment; and the transactional (econom...
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Stroud’s memoir makes at least two important contributions to the public’s understanding of teachers’ work. First, it demonstrates, through personal narrative, that teaching is deeply emotional work. Stroud describes, for example, periods of anger, disappointment, and feelings of inadequacy, but also moments of "magic" and "loving". Secondly, Strou...
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All Australians have a civic duty to familiarise themselves with the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It represents an historic opportunity to make Australia a better place. If this opportunity is missed, we will all (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) be the poorer. (Note: attribution of the opening paragraph, which is from Davis, in Morris, p. 142, wa...
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Debates about the nature of education unions are as old as these institutions themselves. While it is agreed that the purpose of these organisations is to protect and advance the collective interests of teachers and other education workers, what those collective interests entail and how they should be pursued have been and remain active matters for...
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Wal Stubbings was a wharfie, unionist, communist, community activist, and family man. Born in 1913 to a working class family on the rugged west coast of Tasmania, Wal moved to Brisbane during World War Two. After the war he made Brisbane his home until his death at over hundred years of age in 2014.
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Thomas Hanger taught in Queensland state schools from his appointment as a thirteen-year-old pupil teacher 1887, until his retirement in 1940. During World War II he came out of retirement to teach part time at Church of England Grammar School in Brisbane. Sixty Years in Queensland Schools is Hanger’s recollections of and reflections on his long te...
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Review of book that describes case studies across various countries of teacher unions engaged in "union renewal".
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This is the third edition of Harrison and Sellwood’s introduction to Indigenous education in Australia and it contains expanded treatment of a number of key areas.
Conference Paper
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The Liberal National Party (LNP) led by Premier Campbell Newman was elected to government in Queensland in a landslide result on 24 March 2012 and embarked on an ambitious agenda of neo-liberal “reform” across a number of policy areas. The battle for Queensland’s public system of technical and further education (TAFE) was one front of a broader war...
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Teacher unions (or alternatively “education unions”) are organizations formed to protect and advance the collective interests of teachers and other education workers. What the collective interests of educators entail and how they should be pursued have been and remain active matters for debate within these organizations. Different unions at differe...
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This article reviews "Partnering with Immigrant Communities - Action through Literacy", a book that describes a community literacy project undertaken in a multilingual, multi-ethnic Catholic parish in Philadelphia, USA.
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Simon Marginson has published an ambitious new book on higher education internationally, which sets out to re-theorise what higher education (HE) is and re-imagine what it could be. A primary concern of the book, as identified in its title, is to explore HE’s contribution to the public good. This review essay focuses on his arguments in relation to...
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Errol O’Neill (1945-2016) was a Brisbane actor, director, short-story writer, playwright and social activist. Over the period of 1983 to 2011, O’Neill wrote five plays dealing with various episodes of labour history in Queensland. This article is the second of two that describe and analyse these works, which make a valuable contribution to our unde...
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Educational privatisation is a trend driven by a variety of ideological, political and economic factors, which are explored in this valuable and important book.
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This collection of essays by and interviews with practising teachers and education academics from around the world provides a critique of current educational policies. Unlike some other books that have explored and critiqued neo-liberal education reform, it has a major focus the development of viable alternative approaches.
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Harfitt argues that class size research needs to move away from examining correlations between class size and student achievement on standardised tests towards approaches that attempt to develop our understanding of how class size mediates teaching and learning. This book makes an important contribution to that project.
Conference Paper
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Criticism of educational standards and practices was a more or less constant feature of Australian public discourse throughout the Twentieth Century, and continues unabated into this century. This paper provides a preliminary report on my research on expressions of “discontent” and “crisis” in public documents, mainly in newspapers but also in popu...
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Debates about Direct Instruction in Australia have focused on its us at the Aurukun campus of the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy. Despite calls for DI to be abandoned, a recent review found that the approach could continue to be used, but needed to be supplemented by other instructional strategies and a broader curriculum.
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Errol O’Neill (1945-2016) was a Brisbane actor, director, short-story writer, playwright and social activist. Over the period of 1983 to 2011, O’Neill wrote five plays dealing with various episodes of labour history in Queensland. This article is the first of two that describe and analyse these works, which make a valuable contribution to our under...
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The article reviews a collection of essays about the teaching of writing published by the Australian Literacy Educators' Association on the fortieth anniversary of its formation.
Technical Report
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The remote Aboriginal community of Aurukun recently made national headlines when teachers were withdrawn for approximately the last four weeks of semester one after the school principal was twice assaulted by local youths. Commentaries on the incident included some from prominent educators and the local federal member of parliament that implicated...
Technical Report
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This report provides an overview of the recent review that has resulted in some significant changes to the Queensland senior secondary school assessment and tertiary entrance procedures, but suggests it is unlikely that these changes will put an end to the long-running debate about senior secondary assessment in Queensland.
Technical Report
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Recent reporting of the use by a Queensland school of a time-out room – described in one television program as a “jail cell … [where children] are locked away like animals”1 – has drawn attention once again to the fact that debates about the education of students with disabilities persist and are typically highly charged (and can provide ample fodd...
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In early 2010, then Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard commissioned a review of schools funding in Australia by a panel headed by businessman David Gonski. The Gonski reforms, adopted in part, provide an unprecedented opportunity to cut through the Gordian knot of schools funding arrangements in Australia, ending years of acrimonious debate a...
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Acknowledgments Weacknowledge and thank Gabrielle Matters for her thoughtful comments, and Paul Bennett for his wise editorial advice.
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This paper discusses research undertaken over a period of five years in a suburban state school in Queensland. The purpose was to design, implement and evaluate models of literacy education, in particular incorporating the use of digital media and technologies, in a suburban primary school. This paper considers why a union such as the Queensland Te...
Technical Report
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This paper considers a myriad of developments in the VET sector since the late 1980s, including the reforms to VET curriculum, the deprofessionalisation of VET practitioners and their banishment from VET policy forums, the ever-narrowing conception of the nature of VET, the shift to market models of delivery, privatisation of delivery, ongoing redu...
Conference Paper
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This paper examines charter schools as an educational reform with a particular focus on their role in the education of students from disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups and, in the Australian context, of their potential implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. To date, the establishment of charter schooling has not been a...
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This article examines a controversial initiative in Indigenous education: the establishment of the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy (CYAAA). The article provides a brief description of the Academy's three campuses and their communities and considers: the circumstances of its creation, including the role of Noel Pearson and Cape York Partners...
Conference Paper
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The Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy, which began operation as part of the government scholling system in 2010, incorporates activities across three overlapping "domains": Class - the formal schooling component; Culture - Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural knowledge; and Club - sporting, cultural, music and physical education activities....
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Review of AEU (2012) Devolution and education: a research report and AEU, Vic Branch (2012) Performance pay: the research
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Recent changes to industrial relations legislation by the state LNP government fall considerably short of a declaration of war against public sector collective bargaining. They do, however, strengthen the position of the state government and weaken the position of public sector unions. They may also foreshadow further, more significant changes to f...
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Review of Teese (2011) From opportunity to outcomes: the changing role of public schooling in Australia and national funding arrangements
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Review of Australian Journal of Education special issue on the national curriculum 55(3)
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Reviews of Elmore (2011) I used to think ... and now I think; and of Jensen (2009) Teaching with poverty in mind
Conference Paper
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Funding arrangements for schools have long been a subject of intense debate in Australia. In April 2010, the Federal Government appointed a panel chaired by Mr David Gonski to undertake a review of schools funding in Australia. The review is due to report to the Government by the end of 2011. The review is the most comprehensive examination of scho...
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Review of Fitzgerald, D. (2011) Teachers and their times: History and th Teachers Federation, UNSW Press.
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Review of Calnan, N. (2010) Teachers' professional development: it is union work, Eric Pearson Study Project, NSW Teachers Federation.
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Reviews of: Spring (2008) Reserach on globalisation and education, Review of Educational Research 78(2) Reid, et al (eds) (2010) Globalisation, the nation-state and the citizen Gerwitz, et al (eds) (2008) Changing teacher professionalism: International trends, challenges and ways forward
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Reviews of: Rothberg (ed.) (2010) Balancing change and tradition in global education reform Apple (ed.) (2010) Global crises, social justice and education Carter et al (2009) Industrial relations in education: Transforming the school workforce
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A major review of schools funding is underway. The review is the most comprehensive eaxminaition of schools funding since the Karmel Review of the early 1970s. Its potential importance for the future of schooling in Australia cannot be overstated.
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This article identifies some works that can help teachers to sort through and make sense of statistics that are used to support various claims about education.
Conference Paper
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The Ascendency of Neo-liberal Educational Research 1 Over the last 30 years, as neo-liberalism has established itself as the meta-narrative through which all aspects of human endeavour are to be described, it is perhaps not surprising that educational research is now considered to be the preserve of economists. As summed up by Harvey, neo-liberalis...
Conference Paper
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Teachers' Union This paper represents a preliminary exploration of the concept of " strategic union research " as it might apply to education unions in the schooling sector. This paper will look first at the concept and practice of trade union research generally before developing some propositions that relate specifically to research by and for edu...
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Review of Bonnor, C. and Caro, J. (2007) The Stupid Country: How Australia is dismantling public education, UNSW Press.
Technical Report
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vocational education; training
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This article highlights the potential of moves in Australia to promote greater national consistency in curriculum and assessment to put at risk a key feature of schooling in Queensland: school-based assessment.
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Dealing with racism is a difficult task. There are two principal ways in which racism has been understood. Both provide some useful insights, but both are problematic and ultimately inadequate to the task.
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Vocational education and training in schools (VETiS) is but one part of schooling and VETiS is itself characterised by multiple and not always compatible objectives. There is a need to clarify and prioritise the objectives and expectations for school-based VET.
Technical Report
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Vocational Education and Training (VET) in its broadest sense is a vital ingredient for enabling people to build on comprehensive primary and secondary education and to enhance their life opportunities. It broadens cultural understanding, expands employment skills and knowledge and encourages participation as active citizens in society. The growth...
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The inclusion of students with disabilities remains one of the key areas of debate amongst parents and teachers at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. The purpose of this article is to examine critically some features of the debate with a view to suggeting a way forward, that is, a way that accommodates legitimate concerns on all sides of th...
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The intrinsic rewards of teaching can attract people to the profession, and the feeling of helping others, working in a team and achieving worthwhile goals can help them stay in front of a class. But what role do extrinsic rewards play?
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In Australia there has been a marked shift to the Right in educational policy with a concerted effort to promote choice and markets. This article considers how the notion of "pubic education" is being re-defined.
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Research on school-based management (SBM) reflects the fact that "devolution is an inchoate concept". Research that looks at school-based management from one perspectuve can yield different results from research that looks at it from another perspective, even when the research projects are conducted at the same school. In this article six potential...
Conference Paper
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This paper identifes five different potential rationales for school-based management as evidenced in the literature. The rationales are: - improved student learning outcomes - greater community involvement - better management of staff and resources - creation of a schooling market - cost-cutting/down-sizing.
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Over the period of 1986-1996, there was "relentless pressure for total national curriculum reconceptualisation" in Australia. The focus of this paper is the various responses of groups within the education community to this relentless pressure, specifically in relation to competencies and to statements and profiles. It is argued that these response...
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The article argues that the school funding policies of the Howard Government are likely to increase the inequality of educational outcomes and an even greater linking of these to socio-economic status.

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Project (1)
Project
article for Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education summarising research on teacher unions.