chapter  8
27 Pages

The ‘mediation’ of educational reform and improvement

WithNicole Mockler, Susan Groundwater-Smith

This chapter considers the ways in which the language of reform and improvement in education is enacted in the print media, and explores some of the mechanisms by which this enactment occurs. We hold, at the outset, that the role of the print media in shaping public consciousness around education is significant and, specifically, that the media play a particular role in driving the ‘neoliberal imaginary’ into the public consciousness. Using examples from Australia, the UK and US to explore both ‘local vernaculars’ (Rizvi & Lingard, 2010) and international resonances, we argue that international educational concerns manifest in different ways in the public space of different jurisdictions, impacted, no doubt, by cultural and social context. In order to explore these ideas empirically, we draw on a case study comprising 374 newspaper articles, collected over a three-month period in 2016–2017 from Australian, British and North American sources.