Changing Teachers’ Work in Australia

  • Bob Lingard
Part of the Professional Learning and Development in Schools and Higher Education book series (PROD, volume 7)


This chapter is focused on understanding the national agenda in schooling of the Rudd/Gillard governments in Australia and its impact on teachers’ work. The focus is specifically on the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and the My School website. The latter records a school’s performance on NAPLAN, literacy and numeracy tests taken by all students in all Australian schools in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 each year, against national averages and against the performance of 60 ‘Like Schools’ across Australia. The paper draws on insights derived from 12 one-day workshops conducted with teachers and principals around Australia on the national agenda. The central argument of the chapter is that Susan Groundwater-Smith’s commitment to collaborative work between academics and teachers, as a way of nourishing teachers as intellectual workers and activist professionals, as a step towards enhancing the quality of teacher practices and hence student learning, will be more difficult to achieve in schools, given the character of the national agenda—its top–down character, audit focus and underpinning by a neo-liberal social imaginary. Teachers expressed a similar stance in their views that form the basis of the argument.


National Curriculum High Stake Testing Indigenous Student National Agenda National Partnership 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank Carolynn Lingard for her critical comments on various iterations of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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