Principals of audit: Testing, data and ‘implicated advocacy’

Thompson, Greg & Mockler, Nicole (2016) Principals of audit: Testing, data and ‘implicated advocacy’. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 48(1), pp. 1-18.

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Historically, school leaders have occupied a somewhat ambiguous position within networks of power. On the one hand, they appear to be celebrated as what Ball (2003) has termed the ‘new hero of educational reform'; on the other, they are often ‘held to account’ through those same performative processes and technologies. These have become compelling in schools and principals are ‘doubly bound’ through this. Adopting a Foucauldian notion of discursive production, this paper addresses the ways that the discursive ‘field’ of ‘principal’ (within larger regimes of truth such as schools, leadership, quality and efficiency) is produced. It explores how individual principals understand their roles and ethics within those practices of audit emerging in school governance, and how their self-regulation is constituted through NAPLAN – the National Assessment Program, Literacy and Numeracy. A key effect of NAPLAN has been the rise of auditing practices that change how education is valued. Open-ended interviews with 13 primary and secondary school principals from Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales asked how they perceived NAPLAN's impact on their work, their relationships within their school community and their ethical practice.

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ID Code: 94008
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/00220620.2015.1040376
ISSN: 1478-7431
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Educational Administration and History on 2016, available online:
Deposited On: 22 Mar 2016 06:40
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 22:49

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