Students 'at-risk' policy: competing social and economic discourses

Lesley Vidovich, Anne Chapman, L.A.J. Mosen-Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Within a context of global reform agendas that promote economic ideologies ineducation the discourses surrounding ‘school failure’ have shifted from‘individual risk’ to ‘a nation at-risk’. Enhancing the quality of schooling throughimproving educational outcomes and standards for all, and thereby reducing‘school failure,’ is simultaneously constructed as enhancing both social justice anda nation’s economic advantage in the global marketplace. Within this broadercontext, this research explores the complexity of issues related to policy forstudents at educational risk through an analysis of the Education Department ofWestern Australia’s ‘Making the Difference: Students at Educational Risk Policy.’This research adopted a theoretical framework of a ‘policy cycle’ (that allowed foran exploration of power relations within the policy process. Primarily,consideration is given to the competing social and economic discourses foundwithin the policy text and subsequent tensions reflected and retracted throughoutthe policy process from macro (system), to meso (district) and finally to microlevels within the schools and classrooms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-476
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Students 'at-risk' policy: competing social and economic discourses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this