Conference Panels

EDUCATION AND THE MAKING UP OF PEOPLE: RECAPTURING ANTHROPOLOGICAL TERRAIN

Co-convenor: Martin Forsey (contact person), Anthropology and Sociology, University of Western Australia
Email: martin.forsey(at)uwa.edu.au
Co-convenor: Tess Lea, Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University
Email: Tess.Lea(at)cdu.edu.au

State-organised education systems are foundational to how citizens are shaped and sorted. Yet, for all that they are key sites of socialisation and stratification, the education sector – from primary through to tertiary modes – has not caught the sustained interest of anthropology. This is a curious neglect, given the ways in which education circulates knowledge(s) and values which do what Canadian philosopher Ian Hacking calls ‘kind-making’ or ‘making up people’, by which he refers to the symbiotic ways in which classifications of people operate, how they affect the people classified, and how the effects on the people in turn change the classifications. These ‘looping effects’ are particularly visible in the discrete sites and global connections afforded through education. Not only can the binaries, dichotomies and unities anthropologists might seek to analyse in other fields, and perhaps even overturn, be part sourced to the education sector, this arena is also an inhabited world, a peopled world with meanings, imaginings and social drama, able to be studied as a cultural formation in its own right. Thinking through and with education enables anthropologists to explore fundamental questions such as:

  • how people organise;
  • cultural reproduction;
  • identity formation (ability/disability, gender, class, race/ethnicity);
  • the social formation of educational curricula and its consequences;
  • the commodification of knowledge;
  • the nature of state, power and neo-liberalisation; and
  • issues of empowerment and disenfranchisement.

The panel convenors invite contributions by scholars keen to keep bringing education, in all of its forms, into anthropological view.

  • SESSION 1     Room: 373 EC &COM     Tues 5/7/2011     Time: 11.00-12.30     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Stigma and Informal School Exclusion: Perspectives of Mothers of Early Primary Students with Autism Enrolling in Regular Classes
      • Rozanna Lilley, Macquarie University
    • Paper 2: School and Play in Mayurbhanj, Orissa
      • Zazie Bowen, ANU
    • Paper 3: What is in a lunchbox?" Children's view of diversity through the lens of food anthropology.
      • Carla Rey Vasquez, Victoria University
    • Paper 4: Cultural Reproduction and Identity Formation in Math and Science Classes: the Second Generation Asian Indian Students in New York Schools
      • Rupam Saran, Medgar City University of New York
  • SESSION 2     Room: 373 EC &COM     Tues 5/7/2011     Time: 13.30-15.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: The Scholar and the Warrior: Being an 'Asian Man' in a West Australian Private Boys' Boarding School
      • Wee Loon Yeo, University of Western Australia
    • Paper 2: Formal schooling, identity, and contestation in Ethiopia: the unintended consequences of a 'modern' institution.
      • Lorraine Towers, University of Sydney
    • Paper 3: Disturbed by the stranger: State crafting through educational interventions and socio-moral reactions
      • Bolette Moldenhawer and Trine ěland, University of Copenhagen
    • Paper 4: Health's pathologies: exploring the genesis of unequal outcomes in Indigenous school education
      • Tess Lea, Charles Darwin University/University of Sydney
  • SESSION 3     Room: 373 EC &COM     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 11.00-12.30     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Literate Savages
      • Jennifer Biddle, University of New South Wales
    • Paper 2: Cash and Coursework, Culture and Kaxlan: The Modernity of Mayan Weaving Traditions
      • Sheryl Ludwig, Adams State College; Margaret D. LeCompte, University of Colorado-Boulder
    • Paper 3: Competing knowledge systems and place based pedagogy: Indigenous knowledge and Education
      • William Fogarty, CAEPR, The Australian National University
    • Paper 4: The Educational Standardization of China
      • Andrew Kipnis, The Australian National University
  • SESSION 4     Room: 373 EC &COM     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 13.30-15.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: '"Third Mission" Activities and the New Subjects of Higher Education: Commercialisation and the remaking of the university'
      • Laura McLaughlan and Cris Shore, University of Auckland
    • Paper 2: Dualisms and Vocational Education and Training  Creating the People Who Require Training
      • Don Zoellner, Charles Darwin University
    • Paper 3: I (Don't) Belong Here: Searching for a subculture of Indigenous academic success
      • Ekaterina Pechenkina, University of Melbourne
    • Paper 4: Research as bringing teachers out of the shadows: A case for Anthropological approaches
      • Maropeng Modiba, and Sandra Stewart, University of Johannesburg
  • SESSION 5     Room: 373 EC &COM     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 15.30-17.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: The manufacture of non-speakers: The pedagogical implications of constructing Aboriginal children as linguistically 'other'
      • Helen Harper, Charles Darwin University
    • Paper 2: "Please don't call me 'Sir'!": Thinking about student-teacher relationships, power relations and the (re)interpretation of identity symbols
      • Tay Ciawy, University of Western Australia
    • Paper 3: More Exclusive Inclusion: Reflections on a Supplementary Education Programme in an Australian Mining Town
      • Martin Forsey, University of Western Australia

SESSION 1

Chair: Tess Lea

Paper 1: Stigma and Informal School Exclusion: Perspectives of Mothers of Early Primary Students with Autism Enrolling in Regular Classes

Rozanna Lilley, Macquarie University

An important contribution qualitative research makes to understanding the situation of families of children with autism in Australia is to illuminate the felt and enacted experience of maternal stigma. Autism is conceived as a negative difference, particularly in classroom and playground settings, evoking a range of adverse responses from school personnel, including gatekeepers to school entry. In responding to frequent attempts at informal exclusion, mothers draw on a range of alternative constructions of both autism as a category and of their children as individuals. In the process of negotiating with and resisting autism stigma, mothers also attempt to rework the ways in which their own parenting is often negatively assessed as either neurotic or negligent. Due, in part, to the history of both psychoanalytic and genetic studies of autism causation, I suggest that the notion of courtesy stigma is inadequate to an understanding of these exclusionary processes. We also need to consider the constitutive role of ambivalent constructions of the maternal, on the part of those who are engaged in stigmatising practices and those who are stigmatised. This paper is based on research done as part of a larger study titled Maternal transitions: when children with autism start primary school. The maternal narratives discussed here derive from the first set of interviews conducted in 2009 and 2010 with 11 mothers whose children with autism were about to start primary school, enrolled in regular classes, in NSW.

Paper 2: School and Play in Mayurbhanj, Orissa

Zazie Bowen, ANU

Prior to attending school in the rural villages of Orissa, children's identification is predominantly related to family and village. At school, children begin to negotiate new identifications with their block, district, state, nation, and so on. In addition students from different communities begin to re-negotiate their own senses of belonging as they come into daily contact with each other. Students navigate imagined futures for themselves between participation in their family-based agricultural and forest livelihoods and other possibilities beyond the village. Play is part of children's performance of the negotiations and transformations occurring between the cultural, political and economic space of the village and beyond. What sort of performance and social resource is at play in the rural school context? How is play shaped by schooling? How is time reconfigured for school-going children and how do children respond to this? Are school students overburdened and lacking adequate time for play? What is the relationship between children, play, school and socio-cultural transformation? I begin by summarizing some topical issues concerning schooling in India, particularly for rural students from Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste communities, which is followed by ethnographic accounts of conversations with teachers and students as well as some of the experiences and perspectives of school students as represented in seven-day diaries and essays. Finally I tease out some aspects of play in the contexts of remote rural schooling.

Paper 3: What is in a lunchbox?" Children's view of diversity through the lens of food anthropology.

Carla Rey Vasquez, Victoria University

Through an ethnographic investigation of school lunchboxes, this paper explores if and how difference and otherness is understood within children's interactions. In two urban New Zealand primary schools I examine how children construct, affirm and/or challenge social inequalities and issues of inclusion by looking at the contents, concepts, narrative and activities related to the consumption and sharing of their lunch food. Literature dedicated to social class (Bordieu 1984) and ethnic identity (Rikoon, 1982; Stern, 1977) has documented the relationship between group identities and food items or cooking methods, analyzing how food is creatively used to reaffirm unity and belonging within minority groups (Camp, 1989; Kalcik, 1984). In contrast to this approach, I review the role of food as a "safe space" (Mercon, 2008:5) where diversity may be allowed to symbolically exist for the purpose of affirming the unity of the nation state, while ultimately silencing deeper social differences. I assess the discourses, behaviours and symbolisms at stake in scenarios where food consumption takes place with individuals from different ethnic, gender, religious identities and socio-economic backgrounds as well as the way that children are socialized to understand and enact difference through food. This reveals children's notions of their own identity and their perceptions of other's identities, and questions the assumption that food, identity and social cohesion are conceptually linked.

Paper 4: Cultural Reproduction and Identity Formation in Math and Science Classes: the Second Generation Asian Indian Students in New York Schools

Rupam Saran, Medgar City University of New York

This paper examines cultural reproduction and identity formation of immigrant children in education/school settings. Focusing on relationships among learning, academic achievement and identity production/reproduction of the second generation and foreign born Asian Indian students in New York City Schools, I show that dominant school discourses, minority experiences and ethnic status in dominant society mediate Asian Indian students' identity production and negotiation of their ethnic and racial identity in schools. Their identities are produced/reproduced by their positive or negative experiences in those different fields, their cultural, social, and symbolic capital, and their struggle to maintain balance in three fields. The positive schooling experiences depend on how students use their agencies within each field and how well they assimilate their resources from one field to another to re-produce cultural, social, and symbolic capital in school. Because of their economic and academic success in the US, Asian Indians and their children are deemed "successful good minorities." In order to maintain this positive image and to maintain upward mobility, Asian Indian parents expect their children to excel academically and obtain high paying professions. Schools also expect them to conform to their positively stereotyped image of good student. Their ethnic identity and cultural schema is constantly challenged by pressures from home and school. At home they are supposed to maintain their ethnic identity and at school they are expected to follow norms of whiteness. Thus, pressured by their parents and school, often Asian Indian students experience identity threat, ambiguity of identity, and dual identity.

SESSION 2

Chair: Martin Forsey

Paper 1: The Scholar and the Warrior: Being an 'Asian Man' in a West Australian Private Boys' Boarding School

Wee Loon Yeo, University of Western Australia

Each year, more than 25,000 students from South East Asia leave their shores for Perth, WA, to pursue high school education. In 2007, forty-two of them regarded St Andrew's School, an elite private boys' boarding school, their home away from home. The school, located in an affluent and leafy suburb of Grace Views, appeared to be a cynosure of harmony, where the boarders live highly institutionalised lives. That year, I carried out ethnographic research on this group of Asian boarders, investigating how overseas students come to terms with cultural differences and how they position themselves in a complex environment such as a boarding school. Akin to Walker's (1988) research, I carried out participant observation in as wide a range of group activities as technically and ethically possible. This paper begins by exploring how the discourses of masculinity as embodied in the school's ideal of 'The St Andrew's School's Man' were defined and portrayed. These discourses emphasised that students should aspire to be a 'balanced man' who excelled as a scholar and at the same time were accomplished in other pursuits such as sport. Building on similar notions, Kam (2002) uses the concepts of wen (cultural attainment) and wu (martial valour) to explain attitudes to masculinity. Drawing on ethnographic data, I explore how the Asian boarders in their academic pursuits and participation in the car racing arcade game, Maximum Tune, enacted these qualities. Through this I demonstrate how the Asian boarders' adapted the school's construction to shape a new conception and practise of wen-wu masculinity.

Paper 2: Formal schooling, identity, and contestation in Ethiopia: the unintended consequences of a 'modern' institution.

Lorraine Towers, University of Sydney

The currency of diverse ethnic identifications and nationalisms in contemporary Federal Ethiopia are not merely artefacts of 'traditions' but forms, practices and ideas in which that thoroughly 'modern' institution of formal schooling is highly complicit. The aim of this paper is to examine how schooling has been integral to the development of idealized national, urban identities that have configured place and position, inclusion and exclusion, benefit and opportunity within the nation state, as well as the contestation of this orthodoxy through competing ethno-linguistic identification and nationalism. This is pursued in an exploration of the particularity of schooling in practice, understood through the experience and assessments of those participants who have historically been marginalized by national 'development', the Oromo peoples. As potentially the largest ethno-linguistic political entity the Oromo presence has been positioned as antithetical to the modern schooling enterprise, their language and cultures denigrated and excluded. Understandings of change, assimilation and embodiment in school practice are explored through the prism of the remembered conundrums, contingencies and humiliations of experience. Schooling is assessed as more than a known, universal 'good' or a merely reproductive enterprise. It is a complex, creative, and often chaotic, series of processes that provides for a wealthy legacy of unintended learning in which traditions are variously utilised, translated and transformed, and which continues to inform the articulation of contemporary identity practices and the delineation of the rights and belonging which these infer.

Paper 3: Disturbed by the stranger: State crafting through educational interventions and socio-moral reactions

Bolette Moldenhawer and Trine ěland, University of Copenhagen

Historically, immigration has been understood as both a benefit and a threat for the Danish society. Immigrants were invited during the 1960s as guest workers. However, already from the 1960s when unemployment rates exploded, "the stranger " emerges as a disturbing social challenge, and law reduced immigration from 1970. New specialised policies were developed to "order" immigrants through moral regulation, interventions and endeavours of integration, not least in the area of education. Today, the state is increasingly developing programmes to combat what is termed "ghettos", "fundamentalism" or "anti-democratic behaviour". The main question that will be pursued in this paper is: How does a welfare state, based on a progressive tax paid system, universalism and social rights as regards its citizens, deal with immigrants through education? Additionally we pursue a supplementary question that links clearly to the socio-material and symbolic practice around schools. If group-making is part of the national welfare state's practice and policy, then we ask: How does such a state manage to make this differential treatment of citizens work legitimately, i.e. what interventions and moralisations are used and how are they accepted by both the professions and the 'group' of interventions? We argue that the Danish case is particular in terms of its historical development to exhibit the character of what joins up and happens around the proliferation of discourse and practices as regards "the problem of the immigrant" in a small nation state in comparison to other national cases with diverging types of familiarity with "the stranger".

Paper 4: Health's pathologies: exploring the genesis of unequal outcomes in Indigenous school education

Tess Lea, Charles Darwin University/University of Sydney

Drawing from fieldwork conducted in a range of schools in Australia's Northern Territory, I explore the ways in which education inequalities are inscribed within classroom interactions from the earliest grades. It has long been the case that Aboriginal students coming into classrooms from town camps and former pastoral communities are pre-labeled before they are known by name, categorized as Indigenous, regional and remote, overcrowded, welfare dependent, 'ESL', under-nourished, and unhealthy. A new device is available to measure community shortcomings, the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) which promises to move the focus from the individual child to all children in a community, enabling a more integrated reform response based on a notion that intervention in early childhood is a prophylactic against later inequality. Yet within schools, benighted teachers use the AEDI findings and other anecdotal designations of disorders precisely to authorize their treatment of Indigenous students as behind before they start. These categorizations have profound socialization effects. Teachers understand Indigenous children to be incapable of highly demanding instruction, given their serial disorders and inability to concentrate. Students are taught to expect fractured programs at a dizzying pace, becoming exactly the kind of cultural being that teachers expect: an easily distracted learner who needs culturally engaging, kinetic edutainment else they will swiftly lose interest. This paper explores the inter-subjective creation of the Indigenous learner, considering the role of schools, health authorities, policy edicts and anthropological mobilizations to account for the shaping of different tiers of people within schools.

SESSION 3

Chair: Andrew Kipnis

Paper 1: Literate Savages

Jennifer Biddle, University of New South Wales

This paper explores recent Central and Western Desert art in light of the Emergency Intervention into the Northern Territory. The Closing the Gap policy has positioned Aboriginal literacy as a key measure of Aboriginal disadvantage, dysfunction and lack. Recent art challenges the charge of Aboriginal illiteracy directly, destabilising the policed boundaries separating 'art' from 'literacy' and instigating a critical reappraisal of what it means to 'write'. A close examination of works of Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and northern Warlpiri art will be provided, revealing a radical vernacular literacy that in no sense is not traditional. Contemporary art belies the so-called literacy 'gap' and the assimilatory politics of current education policy.

Paper 2: Cash and Coursework, Culture and Kaxlan: The Modernity of Mayan Weaving Traditions

Sheryl Ludwig, Adams State College; Margaret D. LeCompte, University of Colorado-Boulder

Based on five years of fieldwork among Mayan weavers in highland Guatemala, this paper contrasts the practices, pedagogy and assigned tasks in the formal public elementary school with similar practices, pedagogy and assigned tasks found in the home among master weavers teaching their children. We argue that the differences in styles of, and purposes for, learning are factors in how, and in what ways, Mayan people construct identity in conflicting times and amidst conflicting pressures regarding assimilation, hybridity, and globalization.

Paper 3: Competing knowledge systems and place based pedagogy: Indigenous knowledge and Education

William Fogarty, CAEPR, The Australian National University

Remote Indigenous education has long been characterized by dichotomies and binaries that mirror theoretical and political discourses of Indigenous affairs at a national level. This paper argues that the ideological tensions inherent in such discourses have dominated policy settings, particularly in the Northern Territory, resulting in compromised pedagogy at the 'chalkface'. Broadly, policy has either been based in a denial of difference for Indigenous students, mandating generic educational approaches, or has been based in 'culturalism' advocating domain separation in knowledge transmission. Drawing on an ethnographic case study linking Indigenous land and sea management and education, this paper argues that there is a need for pedagogic frameworks and educational development that goes beyond the vitriolic presentism of national Indigenous affairs debates. Rather, we should explore the tensions and complementarities in the transmission of both western and Indigenous knowledge in educational settings, and critically assess the role that pedagogy plays in the cultural reproduction of students in the bush.

Paper 4: The Educational Standardization of China

Andrew Kipnis, The Australian National University

The role of the consolidation of national education systems as a form of nation building is a classic topic of social research, but one that has neglected in recent years, often in order to understand education as a form of "globalization". This paper examines the massive consolidation and standardization of the education system in China over the past twenty years with an eye to the relationships between and the differences between the globalizing and nation building effects of this consolidation. The specific practices through which educational experiences are standardized and the effects of these experiences on the subjectivities of Chinese youth are foregrounded.

SESSION 4

Chair: Rozanna Lilley

Paper 1: '"Third Mission" Activities and the New Subjects of Higher Education: Commercialisation and the remaking of the university'

Laura McLaughlan and Cris Shore, University of Auckland

If state-organised education systems are foundational to how citizens are shaped and sorted, how those education systems are funded is equally foundational to the way educational institutions define their purpose, conduct their work and socialize their students. Commercialisation of university knowledge and the growing importance of 'third mission' university activities are global phenomena today, yet they have received scant attention from anthropologists. Such activities include a variety of strategies for promoting closer university-business relations, from high-tech spin-off companies and business incubators, to university-based start-up companies and various kinds of 'knowledge transfer' partnerships. This shift towards commercialization of university knowledge constitutes a fundamental re-definition of what a university is and what it is for. This paper reports on an ethnographic study that seeks to examine the rise of such third mission activities in New Zealand. In doing so, we explore the different forms that commercialization take and how the architects and mediators of this project interpret their policies. Finally, we consider some of the tensions and frictions that such third mission activities create with the other missions of the university.

Paper 2: Dualisms and Vocational Education and Training - Creating the People Who Require Training

Don Zoellner, Charles Darwin University

While the role and utility of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Australia remains contested in a dichotomous manner (academic versus vocational) inside the tertiary education sector, virtually all other stakeholders have enthusiastically endorsed a critical role for VET in the broader economy. This linkage opens the way to use economic theories to expand the understanding of VET. Noted economic theorist, Sheila Dow has described the use of one economic reductionist technique as 'dualisms'. Dualisms identify two mutually exclusive categories and are commonly used to reduce complex economic realities into scenarios more amenable to theorisation and computation. Dow's strong critique of the simplification of the 'real world' through dualistic thinking was applied to education and training in Australia by Simon Marginson in the 1990s. This paper examines the continued relevance of this work for the second decade of the 21st century by examining how VET is problematised and the influence of dualistic approaches. The use of dualisms to control and limit the discourses in VET, for example competent vs. not competent, skilled vs. unskilled and advantaged vs. disadvantaged, will be linked to the manner by which governments decide to intervene in particular areas of activity. It is proposed how VET is problematised narrows the range of government responses whilst simultaneously creating sub-populations who are viewed as other than normal and require intervention.

Paper 3: I (Don't) Belong Here: Searching for a subculture of Indigenous academic success

Ekaterina Pechenkina, University of Melbourne

Anthropological research into Indigenous higher education provides insight into processes of cultural identity formation and transformation, and allows us to explore how Indigenous students are empowered or marginalized in choosing to maintain their Indigeneity or integrate with the mainstream university student body. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students' feeling of 'not-belonging' at a university is one of the barriers to university success. This situation reveals a perceived tension between two competing cultural identities; however, it is also possible fostering a cultural identity and affirming ties to Indigenous heritage is a crucial factor in an Indigenous student's educational success. Discussing preliminary findings of ethnographic research of Indigenous education at the University of Melbourne, which for the past six years has had the highest Indigenous completion rate nation-wide. One explanation of this success is that Indigenous students at the University of Melbourne have resolved the perceived cultural tension between Indigeneity and educational achievement and developed a new subculture in the process. Drawing on participant-observation and interviews with Indigenous students and Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff, I describe my search for an Indigenous subculture of educational success at the University. If there is such a phenomenon, I ask how this subculture is constructed and maintained and whether it influences the university's high Indigenous completion rate.

Paper 4: Research as bringing teachers out of the shadows: A case for Anthropological approaches

Maropeng Modiba, and Sandra Stewart, University of Johannesburg

There are still too few theoretical frameworks around which we might develop, with a significant degree of trust, explanations about how teachers teach and why they teach the way they do. Trying to do this has been beset with problems because models have often been constructed with particular images or metaphors in mind, which have affected how teachers' actions have been examined and defined. These range from Shulman's (1983) emphasis on the significance of pedagogical content knowledge as defining factor, Connelly and Clandinin's (1988) notion of personal practical knowledge, to Holden and Hicks' conception of teaching that is socially-conscious. Even though these frameworks provide useful insights, and have contributed to the development and growth of scholarship on teachers' practices, they still do not enable us to understand the explanations teachers would provide. We argue that there seem to be two critical issues in any effort aimed at understanding teachers' actions in their own terms. The first relates to ideology and second to culture. To explain these aspects we look at studies reported in various issues of the journal Ethnography and Education and argue for the importance of the teachers' voice in understanding their actions. As background, the paper provides a brief account of selected theoretical frameworks employed to study teachers' practices to highlight their different foci. The discussion is followed by a critical analysis of studies in Ethnography and Education to argue for the value of anthropological approaches in understanding teaching as cultural action.

SESSION 5

Chair: Cris Shore

Paper 1: The manufacture of non-speakers: The pedagogical implications of constructing Aboriginal children as linguistically 'other'

Helen Harper, Charles Darwin University

Thanks to various socio-linguists, there is a growing awareness within the teaching profession of the nature of non-standard varieties of English. Increasingly sociolinguistic terms such as 'Non-Standard English', 'English as a Second Dialect' and 'Aboriginal English' (AE) have become part of educators' professional vocabularies. The awareness is complemented and informed by a mounting body of research about differences between Aboriginal ways of speaking and the linguistic forms associated with learning and reproducing academic disciplines. Underlying this research has been an assumption that understanding the formal features of AE will help teachers to cater more effectively for the academic needs of Aboriginal students. However, I argue that labelling children who speak non-standard varieties of English as inherently linguistically 'different' may have some unintended repercussions. Drawing on ethnographic studies of schools and on policy documents relating to the teaching of English as an Additional Language in the Northern Territory, I examine the ways in which Aboriginal children are linguistically categorised. I then argue that while the 'English as a Second Dialect' categorisation may be helpful in deflecting teachers' perceptions of children as 'bad' English speakers, in the recategorization process these children become aligned with 'non' English speakers. In Hacking's sense of 'kind-making', we witness the making of non-standard English speakers into speakers of a language other than English. Clearly we need to examine in more depth the pedagogical implications of assimilating these linguistic categorisations into the broader practices of categorising Aboriginal children as generally difficult to teach.

Paper 2: "Please don't call me 'Sir'!": Thinking about student-teacher relationships, power relations and the (re)interpretation of identity symbols

Tay Ciawy, University of Western Australia

It is generally presumed that most of the power to define the nature of the relationship between students and teachers lies in the hands of the latter. Many that either study or work in schooling take this for granted by the virtue of the respective roles of students and teachers in the school's formal hierarchy. However, one's role in a formal institution and how one's informal identity is defined in a community are not always the same thing. Here I discuss how students' reinterpretation the meanings of cultural symbols such as that term 'Sir', usually one denoting respect, can be translated into their ability to redefine the nature of their relationship with their teachers, even if only in their own perspective.

Paper 3: More Exclusive Inclusion: Reflections on a Supplementary Education Programme in an Australian Mining Town

Martin Forsey, University of Western Australia

The idea that inclusivity creates its own exclusivities is far from new. What I want to do in this paper is think about the implication of this basic insight for the success and otherwise of an ambitious project aimed at increasing education participation in a north west mining town. The project offers an interesting example of a public-private partnership (PPPs) where a mining conglomerate has invested significant funds in order to improve educational outcomes in the town in which it is based. Federal and State Governments are busily promoting PPPs in the education sphere, using a rhetoric of social inclusion and community responsibility. Whilst the funding that is at the heart of the research reported here, is based in no small part on self-interest  trust in secondary education is recognised as a problem for staff retention in the local mining industry it has allowed the local schools to significantly increase and improve their level of service to students, particularly those who make it to Year 12 and are interested in university entrance. Based on extensive interviews with teachers, parents, students and community members, this participant listener study teases out the various opportunities and contradictions apparent in a supplementary education programme that simultaneously addresses and reinforces some of the inequalities traditionally associated with formal education. It offers yet another example of the fascinatingly disturbing re-productive processes at play in educational practice.

Discussion