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Conservatives, politics and the crisis of modern education in Australia

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This article offers an analysis of conservative critiques of education with particular attention given to how policy problems are framed to build public consensus. It investigates how conservatives claim political legitimacy and describe education and social problems in ways that promote a conservative agenda. Using a case study of the Australian Howard Government's education policy, the article draws on Lakoff's work and particularly his ‘moral accounting schemes’ to identify the politics that are not always apparent in debates, but which nonetheless play a powerful role in popular and policy understandings of schools and universities and which help shape policy solutions to the problems those educational institutions are said to face.
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Keywords: conservatives; critique; education policy; moral accounting; politics; standards

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Global Studies, Social Science and Planning,RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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