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School choice in Australia and the US: The impact of values and ideology on educational change

Perry, L. (2006) School choice in Australia and the US: The impact of values and ideology on educational change. In: 34th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society, 30 November - 3 December 2006, Canberra, A.C.T


Countless theories and studies of educational change and reform have been developed over the last 50 years. Comparative education theory has examined the larger, macro forces that contribute to educational change and reform. Over the last three decades, researchers have been concentrating on the role of globalisation. One stream has analysed worldwide educational convergence due to the inner dynamic of bureaucratic rationalisation and institutional globalisation. The other dominant framework is economic globalisation, the notion of the market, and economic integration. Globalisation is a huge and nebulous concept, but it is clearly shaping educational change and reform throughout the world. While classrooms might not be changing much, the larger aspects of educational governance are. It is also clear, however, that countries interpret these reform movements spread by globalisation differently. For example, the concept of educational choice has appeared in many countries, but the particularities are wide-ranging and far from converging. Historical context and national values and ideologies are presumably the main reasons why global forces result in different national education policies. There has been a fair amount of research on globalisation as a major force in educational change, and how it has shaped education in various countries. There has been relatively little research, however, on the ways in which values and ideology shape how globalisation is recontextualised in national educational systems. Understanding the role that values and ideologies play would help explain why choice, for example, is interpreted very differently in the US than in Australia. Education in democratic societies is undergirded by five key concepts: equality, participation, choice, diversity, and cohesion. Together they comprise a model that is useful for analysing and comparing education policy in democratic countries. As the author has discussed the model in greater detail elsewhere, in this paper she provides only a brief overview. The main purpose of this paper is to apply the model to educational change in comparative perspective. The model's five key concepts provide a framework for analysing the role of values and ideology in different nations' recontextualisation of global trends in education.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society
Copyright: 2006 ANZCIES
Conference Website:
Notes: Appears In: Global governance, educational change and cultural ecology : proceedings of the 34th annual conference, 2006
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