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Moving beyond the academic and vocational divide in Australian schools

Down, B.ORCID: 0000-0003-4843-0563 (2018) Moving beyond the academic and vocational divide in Australian schools. In: Gannon, S., Hattam, R. and Sawyer, W., (eds.) Resisting Educational Inequality: Reframing Policy and Practice in Schools Serving Vulnerable Communities. Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group, pp. 41-50.

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This chapter sets out to interrupt common-sense explanations of educational inequality by questioning the logic of schooling that artificially divides students into academic and vocational learners. It seeks to challenge the logic of schooling that serves to sustain the practice of streaming in schools through, first, deficit and pathologising discourses; second, practical, hands-on curriculum; and, third, the preparation of a skilled workforce to meet the needs of a modernising economy. Deficit and pathologising discourses reinforce the belief that some students are simply not 'bright' enough to study the traditional academic subjects which lead to an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) score necessary for university entry. By default, non-academic students are deemed to be intellectually inferior and therefore more suited to a practical competency-based vocational pathway. The chapter considers the benefits of integrating vocational and academic learning based on 'a logic of sufficiency'.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
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