Social justice intents in policy: an analysis of capability for and through education

Gale, Trevor and Molla, Tebeje 2015, Social justice intents in policy: an analysis of capability for and through education, Journal of education policy, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 810-830, doi: 10.1080/02680939.2014.987828.

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Title Social justice intents in policy: an analysis of capability for and through education
Author(s) Gale, TrevorORCID iD for Gale, Trevor
Molla, Tebeje
Journal name Journal of education policy
Volume number 30
Issue number 6
Start page 810
End page 830
Total pages 21
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 0268-0939
Keyword(s) capability
education policy
social justice
policy analysis
Asian century
Social Sciences
Education & Educational Research
Summary Primarily developed as an alternative to narrow measures of well-being such as utility and resources, Amartya Sen’s capability approach places strong emphasis on people’s substantive opportunities. As a broad normative framework, the capability approach has become a valuable tool for understanding and evaluating social arrangements (e.g. education policies and development programmes) in terms of individuals’ effective freedoms to achieve valuable beings and doings. This paper explores the recent emergence of ‘capability’ in Australian education policy, specifically in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. We explore capability as a framing device and reveal how its various meanings are at odds with the scholarly literature, specifically Sen’s conception of capability and its implications for social justice in and through education. The analysis shows that the social justice intent of a capability approach appears to be overtaken in the White Paper by an emphasis on outcomes, performance and functionings that seek to serve the nation’s economic interests more than the interests of students, especially the disadvantaged.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/02680939.2014.987828
Indigenous content on
Field of Research 160501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy
139999 Education not elsewhere classified
1303 Specialist Studies In Education
1605 Policy And Administration
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Education
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