Controversies in Education pp 139-148
Why Global Policies Fail Disengaged Young People at the Local Level
School retention rates appear to have an iconic status in the global world. This chapter discusses the failure of global educational governance as an economic remedy specifically in relation to the raising of the school leaving age in Australia. It argues that global policy-making for economic competitiveness not only “sidelines the social purposes of education” (Ball S, Curriculo sem Fronteiras 1(2):27–43, 2001) and is designed to exercise control over the education process but also fails to recognise the particularity of the local. To make the case two threads are pursued. The first is a critique of the research on the returns for schooling per se. We argue that the research evidence promoted by organisations such as the OECD is dogged by methodological and data problems. The second thread draws attention to the need to identify heterogeneity in returns, particularly with reference to those young people who are currently disengaged and reluctant learners. It will draw attention to the work of Dockery (Assessing the value of additional years of schooling for the non academically inclined. LSAY research reports. Longitudinal surveys of Australian youth research report #38. ACEReSearch, 2005) who has found compulsion is adverse for non-academically able children and if it is the national desire to provide an inclusive schooling for all, up to the age of 17 years, then pathways and pedagogical practices for those young people who are expressing resistance and alienation will need to both change and be appropriately resourced.
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