‘Problematising’ policy in practice: principals’ perceptions of inclusion in an era of test-based accountability

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Hardy, I
Woodcock, S
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2022
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This article reveals the hybridised nature of principals’ representations and enactment of the aims of national testing policy in relation to inclusion in Australia. The research utilises perspectives from 18 principals from schools serving communities in rural, regional and urban parts of New South Wales. Drawing upon Carol Bacchi’s notion of policy as ‘what’s the problem represented to be?’, and Ball, Maguire and Braun’s critical analyses of educational policy enactment processes, the research critiques how inclusion is understood in an era of increased standardised testing. While standardised testing constructs the ‘problem’ of education in Australia as being about low test outcomes and accountability, these were translated variously by principals into concerns about whether and how NAPLAN served as a vehicle for all students’ learning. Concerns were also expressed about how the test subsequently actually contributed to inclusion, or whether it served as a vehicle for more exclusive practices.

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Pedagogy, Culture & Society

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3030

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4

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Curriculum and pedagogy

Cultural studies

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Hardy, I; Woodcock, S, ‘Problematising’ policy in practice: principals’ perceptions of inclusion in an era of test-based accountability, Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 2022, 30 (4), pp. 415-434

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