Signing the school in neoliberal times: the public pedagogy of being pedagogically public

Austin, Jon and Hickey, Andrew (2008) Signing the school in neoliberal times: the public pedagogy of being pedagogically public. The International Journal of Learning, 15 (1). pp. 193-202. ISSN 1447-9494

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[Abstract]: One of the most significant features of the Western school in the contemporary, neoliberal, era has been its reformation as an economic enterprise. Previously, the school was represented as a site of communal learning and coherence, linked into broader national systems, networks, agendas and projects. Today, however, schools in the West operate increasingly
as individual units, frequently focused around economic imperatives that drive concerns to shore up student numbers. This focus has been accompanied by redoubled efforts to differentiate one school from another, at least in the minds of the “market”, to the extent that even schools in national or State systems actively look to the advertising industry to connect
with their market. This paper reports on the application of visual ethnographic techniques to capture and analyse the types of messages schools in an Australian city present to their community in pursuit of the aim of establishing and marketing individual school identities. Underpinned by the work of Henry Giroux on the concept of public pedagogy (2005), the project has utilized digital photography to develop repositories of images and messages broadcast by schools in the project community. The particular methodology and techniques utilized are the subject of the first part of the paper. The second
part of the paper discusses the preliminary analysis of themes of public pedagogical import from school advertising boards.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Authors retain copyright. Readers must contact Common Ground for permission to reproduce. COMMON GROUND PUBLISHING PO Box 463, Altona, Victoria, 3018, Australia.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2008 23:53
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: visual ethnography, public pedagogy, schools, identity, neoliberalism
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200203 Consumption and Everyday Life

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