Edufare for the future precariat: The moral agenda in Australia’s ‘earning or learning’ policy

Doherty, Catherine (2017) Edufare for the future precariat: The moral agenda in Australia’s ‘earning or learning’ policy. Journal of Education Policy, 32(1), pp. 34-47.

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Abstract

This paper considers the educational experience constructed under Australia’s policy decision to extend compulsory education by requiring that students must be ‘earning or learning’ till 17 years of age (Council of Australian Governments, 2009). The discussion draws on an empirical project that explored the moral order operating in classrooms for students retained under this policy in non-academic pathways in high schools and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) colleges across three towns experiencing youth employment stress. It asks how the policy regulating these students’ prolonged engagement with formal education plays out in classroom interactions, to what end and to whose benefit. A theoretical lens informed by work by Standing and Wacquant is used to understand the contemporary moment, and work by Durkheim and Bernstein unpacks the moral work implicated in classroom interactions. The analysis describes the light curriculum and the heavy compliance demanded in these ‘edufare’ programs then argues that in essence the policy seeks to manage the social risk posed by the future precariat. The conclusion reflects on whether this is an adequate policy response to broad generational changes in fortunes and prospects to which education may not have the answers.

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ID Code: 97972
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: morality, edufare, economization, precariat, compulsory education
DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2016.1215534
ISSN: 1464-5106
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Secondary Education (130106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright Statement: The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published
and is available in Journal of Education Policy, 05 August 2016, http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02680939.2016.1215534
Deposited On: 08 Aug 2016 00:22
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2017 02:25

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