How Countries Tackle Low Achievement

Subject EDUC90635 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours
Total Time Commitment: 125 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: Attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.


Education Student Centre
Subject Overview: The focus of this subject is on Australian policies to reduce low achievement. Most States and Territories as well as Commonwealth policies will be considered in detail. To widen the frame of reference, experience in other countries will be introduced. The central concern in the subject is with how systems seek to improve achievement, particularly for low socio-economic groups and minorities, taking into account distinctive structures and context both within Australia and overseas. What do governments seek to achieve through equity and other policies, how different are the approaches, how effective, what works and how do we know? Seminars include contributions from policy and school leaders as well as academic staff.
  • to understand the economic, social and political pressures on government to reduce under-achievement;
  • to examine a range of policies that have been implemented by governments;
  • to critically assess the assumptions and the effectiveness of these policies in their contexts.
Assessment: One 5,000 word essay (80%) and one seminar presentation involving a power point display with notes for class distribution due in class during the semester (20%).
Prescribed Texts:
  • OECD, No more failures (2008)
  • Teese, R. and Polesel, J., Undemocratic Schooling (2003)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject, students will be able to:
  • critically relate a selection of policies to the challenges they address;
  • identify their strengths and weaknesses;
  • argue for changes to them to improve their effectiveness.

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