Task:The article, ‘Deconstructing Diversity Discourses in the Field of Educational Management and Leadership’ by Jill Blackmore provides a framework that explores the intersections and divergences of the discourse that you are studying. It is fitting that you have a knowledge of the foundation of the concepts in order to grasp the contemporary trend. Write a critical reflection of this article and consider the implications in education.
This task is aimed at developing your critical analysis skills. To do this, you will need to use the ‘4R’s’ (report, relate, reason & reconstruct. See LMS for template).
Detailed Instructions: Your reflection should follow the 4 R’s model (Report, Relate, Reason, and Reconstruct)
Report: Summarise the article, including the key issues it raises. What was the purpose of the article? How does the author try to achieve this? How successful was he?
Relate: Identify aspects of the article which have personal meaning or connections with your experience. Was there anything that triggered a specific emotion or response? Why? Has the article challenged your self-concept, assumptions, attitudes, values, and/or beliefs about diversity and educational leadership? Is there anything you need to reconsider or change in your views about this topic?
Reason: Discuss what the article tells us about the relationship between your understanding of the concept and the dominant discourses of neoliberalism and Managerialism.
Reconstruct: Discuss what you have learned about yourself and your understanding of any of the concepts. Can you draw any general conclusions? How could you apply what you have learned to your own teaching practice? What other actions could you take to promote diversity?
This educational management Assignment focuses on Diversity in the field of education has been on mainstream debate and caught the attention of European policymakers. In this regard, Blackmore (2006) conducted an evaluation of various discourses involving the concept of diversity and how it applies to the education sectors of Anglophone countries. This educational management Assignment aims to develop a critical analysis of Blackmore’s article: ‘Deconstructing Diversity in the field of educational management and leadership’. Using the 4R’s model (report, relate, reason and reconstruct) analysis framework, there will there will be a deeper reflection of ideas presented by the author to make a conclusion of the article’s main argument.
A Summary of the Article: The educational management Assignment raises various key issues about the discourse of diversity and social justice in democratic countries especially in the field of education. A major issue highlighted by the author is that diversity discourse has been largely aligned to managerialist and market frames that limit the concerted efforts by various jurisdictions to provide more equitable and inclusive education. As a response to this, Blackmore writes the article purposefully to explain the nature, context and implications of the diversity discourse on leadership within the academic field, focusing on how the discourse has led to a shift in focus from equal opportunity education to the provision of education with a target of promoting market orientation, and new managerialsm in Australia.
The educational management Assignment author tries to achieve the article’s objective by first tracing the origin of various discourses of diversity within the context of education policy, where it is highlighted that the discourse of diversity within the context of education leadership originates from the earlier policies and regulations of affirmative actions and anti-discrimination legislation embraced by Western states. To achieve this, the author gives details of the two discourses of diversity i.e. transformative diversity and capitalizing on diversity. The penultimate step to the achievement of the article’s objective is to highlight the articulations of diversity in education, where the author gives a detailed and critical analysis of the three concepts of diversity (diversity-in-management, management-of-diversity, and managing-for-diversity) and how they apply to the context of leadership in education. The educational management Assignment author succeeds in highlighting how despite being empowering through its advocacy for a recognition of gender, racial, religious and cultural beliefs, the alignment of the diversity discourse to theories of maximizing self-interest thereby promoting the notion of learning as non-collective and individual leadership practice that derails the spirit of equity and equality in Australia’s education sector. Hence, the educational management Assignment concludes that education leadership is practiced in the context of market and managerial orientation of schooling that makes little contribution to acceptance of diversity and inclusivity of schooling.
A key aspect that I personally connect with through this article is how different frameworks and discourses of diversity claim to promote equality and inclusivity yet shallowly addresses them. This is exemplified in the discourse of ‘managing for diversity’ where governments give a market focus to education and commoditize it by selling it to non-domestic states or students. A possible implication of this understanding is that while I had the view that studying abroad would equip me with exceptional skills, professional expertise, and an experience of various cultures, it is deeply rooted in poor regard for diversity and facilitates the public administration’s desire to infuse contractualism and competition as suggested by the author. Having realised that I was a victim of shifted policy framework for equity, I am wondering whether going to study abroad would really give me the experience of cultural diversity that I yawned for, or it would only promote the public administration’s agenda. This article has challenged my assumptions and attitudes towards diaspora education because it highlights how international education has been commoditized rather than developed to promote cultural exchange, new experiences, social interaction and international skills. Therefore, this new insight gathered while compileing the educational management Assignment allows me to the need to change my view of educational leadership and how policy formulation affects various aspects of educational leadership. From the author’s narration of how the Karpin Report on Management Education in Australia led to a change in the policy frame of equity, where the post-colonial discourse of cultural exchange and how it creates mutual benefit is disregarded, I view that there is an urgent need for educational leadership to maintain its focus on the fundamental principles of inclusivity and equity while formulating educational policies. As opposed to my earlier view that internationalization of education is advantageous in promoting diversity and inclusivity, I have reconsidered this perspective and now have a deeper understanding on the idea that in the pretext of diversity, policy leaders can use internationalized education to promote capitalism thereby hindering the achievement of inclusivity and diversity.
This article highlights various aspects of neoliberalism and managerialism as two dominant foundations upon which the discourses of diversity have emerged. For instance, the author narrates that while the concept of diversity considers disability, ethnicity, race socioeconomic differences, gender and linguistic difference as major aspects that should be considered in the development of inclusivity, it also emerged alongside radical changes and reconstructions in education characterised by various neoliberalism reforms of individual responsibility, and the principles of competition and choice. The article goes ahead to explain how the discourse of diversity conflicted with neoliberalism reforms introduced by Australia’s Howard government which reduced funding for health and education in favour of market radicalism. According to the author, the dominant discourse of neoliberalism, characterized by the principle of choice derailed equitable and inclusive education by creating an opportunity for education leaders to disregard specific structural conditions and cultural considerations that incapacitate their delivery of inclusive and equitable education.
In respect to managerialism, the educational management Assignment highlights how various Anglophone democracies infused principles of private business into their public policy, leading to an introduction of market and managerialism notions of competition, choice, and contractualism. Whereas choice in the context of managerialism had the same effects on diversity as brought about by neoliberalism, the notion of contractualism and competition led to the commodification of international education. Hence, according to the author, the managerialism orientation of school leadership led to a shift in the diversity discourse where equity and inclusivity were never considered in policy formulation. Ultimately, the article informs that the principles of managerialism and neoliberalism emerge as the fundamental basis upon which shifts in diversity discourses occurs.
In conclusion, the article has informed me of how various discourses of diversity affect equity and inclusivity in education. It is possible to conclude that the managerialism and neoliberalism principles of choice and competition have had a great effect on how educational leaders perceive diversity and this affect the way they deliver equitable and inclusive education. This means that as an educationist, I should have a deeper understanding of diversity and differences in humanity in order to enhance the equity levels of education. In doing so, I should participate in the formulation of more equitable education policies and mobilize the resources for promoting the same. While I have had a great experience in caring for my students, this article has changed my understanding of inclusivity and equity in terms of how to understand student differences and taking advantage of such differences to promote a more inclusive learning experience. For example, I can apply this understanding by encouraging students who speak foreign languages to teach their colleagues how to speak such languages. I can also apply this understanding to encourage students from all backgrounds (i.e. black or white) by communicating the same level of expectations on examination performance to them. This educational management Assignment has helped be develop skills to prepare classroom policy to assist maintains students to help higher ethnicity.
Blackmore, J. (2006). Deconstructing Diversity Discourses in the Field of Educational Management and Leadership, Educational Management Administration & Leadership ISSN 1741-1432 DOI: 10.1177/1741143206062492.SAGE Publications.