Navigating a treacherous game: conceptualising parental engagement in contemporary Queensland schooling
Parent engagement in schooling has long been held as a vital component of the successful navigation of the schooling process and, consequently, governments often invite such engagement via policy implementation. However, at times, contestation arises about parent engagement, with some parents seemingly 'crossing the line' when attempting to be involved in their children's schooling. This paper investigates the possibility of parent engagement in schooling in Queensland, Australia, conceptualising it as a game of social and systemic practice. The author examines this notion using an example of contestation between parents at a regional government school and the education authority. Policy directives about parent engagement are explored, with the rhetoric of such policy applied to the example in question. The work of Bourdieu and Foucault is used to argue that the invitation to parents to engage is framed and thus often misrecognised, resulting in unintended conflictual relationships between parents and governing authorities.
British Journal of Sociology of Education
Sociology of Education