student profile: Mr Pat Norman


Thesis work

Thesis title: Rationality & Power in Australian Education

Supervisors: Nicole MOCKLER , Debra HAYES , Debra TALBOT

Thesis abstract:

Over the past decades, education policy in Australia has taken on increasingly neoliberal features. Scholars have suggested that this is a consequence of globalised policy 'borrowing and lending' (Steiner-Khamsi, 2012; Rizvi & Lingard, 2010; Ball, 2012). Danish Social Scientist Bent Flvybjerg maps the relationship of rationality and power, explaining that 'power has a rationality that rationality does not know' (Flyvbjerg, 1998). In saying this, Flyvbjerg raises the issue of 'rational' outcomes being shaped by 'powerful' actors. This question is especially relevant for Australian teaching practice and schools, since policy has come to focus more intensively in this area. This thesis explores the way neoliberal policy - through the power of governmentality, policy and media - shapes the terrain of rationality and practice in schools.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.