A student-centred sociology of Australian education

voices of experience

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book is based on a comparative study from 2018, of four different approaches to education, according to 2,500 Australians’ experiences of them, on a range of topics. It shows that whilst the critical approach has strong research-based support across the board, sometimes a liberal, conservative or post-modern approach may have some merit for certain outcomes. This is a book about challenging our biases and calling on ourselves to aim higher for education, than what our own pre-conceived ideas might allow.

What and who is valued in education, and the social roles and identity messages learned, differ wildly from school to school. Education is most impacted by the orientation of education dominant in that context – whether conservative, liberal, critical or post-modern. These terms are often used with little practical data on the real-life schooling they entail. Who learns what in which approach? Who learns best with which approach, on which topic and why? This book provides this previously missing information. It offers holistic, detailed descriptions of conservative, liberal, critical and post-modern approaches to education broadly. It provides statistics and stories from real students on how the four approaches work practically in schools in relation to: age, gender, sexuality, social class, race, news-media, popular culture and technology. Chapters offer background information to the four perspectives, data from student participants, tutorial questions and activities, and suggestions for further reading.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages346
ISBN (Electronic)9783030368630
ISBN (Print)9783030368623
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCritical Studies of Education


  • education for social inclusion
  • educational change
  • sociology
  • schools
  • ages
  • gender
  • sexuality
  • social class
  • race
  • ethnicity
  • media
  • culture
  • technology
  • child development
  • student

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