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Performativity, identity and ATAR: How are upper secondary students navigating the meritocratic identity market underpinning Australian public schooling?

Rovis-Hermann, N. (2019) Performativity, identity and ATAR: How are upper secondary students navigating the meritocratic identity market underpinning Australian public schooling? In: 34th Annual Research Forum. West Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER), 3 August 2019, The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle.

Abstract

This presentation advocates the value in drawing on poststructuralist notions of self for critiquing the meritocratic ideology underpinning the current practices of schooling under neoliberal regimes. The Independent Public-School initiative that has taken hold in Western Australia in recent years will be discussed, with emphasis placed on the impact this initiative has had on the performative pressure now endured by Western Australian public-school students. Preliminary insights drawn from interviews and focus group discussions with ten ATAR students currently enrolled year 11 or 12 in an Independent Public School in the Perth Metropolitan area, will be presented to highlight some of the challenges confronting these students as they strive to achieve their academic goals. By considering these students' experiences against a critique of the normative practices of competitive schooling arrangements, my aim is to imagine a more hopeful and humanising kind of education for young people. My central argument is that young people are always in the process of becoming; they have an unfinished reality which makes learning possible. Viewed in this way, all students have a right to an empowering education that promotes and encourages the continued development of capabilities and skills that will help them achieve their imagined futures.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: Education
Conference Website: https://www.waier.org.au/
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/55643
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