built to fail, negotiating the compliance paradox

Sean Brawley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Why does a student choose to study history in their first year at University? Is it because they want to engage with the signature pedagogy of the history discipline or simply because they hold an interest in learning more about American history? This chapter explores the consequences (existing and potential) that have confronted the study of history in higher education within a sector now focussed on standards and compliance. After outlining the new regulatory environment and the current sector landscape and players, the threats to the history major provided by the current compliance agenda are explored. The structural limitations associated with the major when placed beside its international comparators, especially in England and Wales, are also examined within the context of the attainment of standards. What are the consequences of designing units for a history major when the vast majority of the students are actually not completing the major? The chapter concludes by suggesting a way that Australia's history majors can escape the compliance paradox.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching the discipline of history in an age of standards
EditorsJennifer Clark, Adele Nye
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789811300479
ISBN (Print)9789811300462
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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