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Title: A conceptual history of progress in the policy documents of the ACT education system, 1967-2022
Contributor(s): Molony, Damien Peter (author); Charteris, Jennifer  (supervisor)orcid ; Nye, Adele  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2023-10-09
Copyright Date: 2022
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There is intense public and political interest in how the Australian school system can be improved but less focus on progress as the conceptual rationale that underpins this aim. This thesis seeks to explore tensions and ambiguities in the concept of progress in the ACT, an education system that has continued to articulate the principles of autonomy and decentralisation even as it has been subsumed within the norms, values and regulatory mechanisms of the globalised policy narrative of school improvement. As a conceptual history the project chronologically reconstructs change and persistence in the language used to define progress within the network of local, national and international documents that constitute education policy in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). This historical narrative is grounded in the position that the linguistic preconditions of progress are both temporal and spatial, such that expressing progress as a single temporal path requires resolving the tension between the singularity of time and the multiplicity of students, teachers, schools, and school systems to which it is applied. In response the ACT government has explicitly rejected the proposition that the linear, point in time data used to define progress (2022a) can capture the social complexities that contribute to education outcomes (Berry, 2018), even as it uses this information to substantiate itself as a leading learning organisation (ACT ED, 2020). A conceptual history of progress has the capacity to contribute to our understanding of the multiple temporalities of schooling, an area of research and theorising that has received little attention in the policy sociology of education, while an analysis of the local spatial dynamics of education provides an alternative to the linearity that underpins both the social sciences, and the instrumental, standardised, outcomes focus of the global education policy discourse. As a teacher in the system, my hope is that a conceptual history of progress assists in redirecting education policy back towards a consideration of the distinct character of the Canberra community, and away from the homogenised school improvement agenda that reduces students to temporally conditioned judgements about who is at, behind or in front of standard. ii Certificat

Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390102 Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
390201 Education policy
390306 Secondary education
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160103 Primary education
160105 Secondary education
160301 Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
Description: Please contact if you require access to this thesis for the purpose of research or study.
Appears in Collections:School of Education
Thesis Masters Research

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