Searching for Equity and Social Justice: Diverse Learners in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Baljit Kaur
  • Ruth Boyask
  • Kathleen Quinlivan
  • Jean McPhail
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 2)

The structure, forms and practices of modern schools have remained relatively unchanged since their emergence as sites of mass instruction, established to meet the needs of burgeoning industrialized economies. However, schools have also traditionally sat in contest between economic necessity and more intransitive public good (Ramirez & Boli, 1994). The progressive impulses evident throughout the twentieth century were expressive of widely held beliefs that schooling could create a more democratic society. In a shift away from conservative and authoritarian schooling practices, New Zealand progressive educational ideas were enacted through egalitarian policies, legislating for broader definitions of “good citizenship” through a wider curriculum, greater autonomy for teachers and rhetoric on fostering the development of individual potentials through education. These initiatives took root in the midtwentieth century, a period defined by the country’s economic prosperity and commitment to social equity. However, national social policies enacted for the public good served to reinforce social norms, and obscured diversities such as gender and ethnicity (Novitz & Wilmott, 1990) or excluded and segregated others as in the case of disabilities (Rata, O’Brien, Murray, Mara, Gray & Rawlinson, 2001).

Keywords

Migration Income Arena Volatility Stake 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baljit Kaur
    • 1
  • Ruth Boyask
    • 2
  • Kathleen Quinlivan
    • 1
  • Jean McPhail
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CanterburyNew Zealand
  2. 2.University of PlymouthUK

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