serendipity

It’s never too late to change

I am so thankful to all the people who have helped me on me journey. I think of it as serendipity, but honestly, the planets align too often for it to be chance.

Doug and Bruce – you are amazing. You don’t realise but the little nudges you both give me from time to time have helped me to remain open to content I would never have used.

Michael – your gentle post-structural mocking has paid off. I think I’m changing my mind. As a result I’ve just bought more books from Amazon (Weber, Habermas and Piaget) to see what I can think through, and I’m returning to my research on discourse theory for options other than post-structuralism.

As many of you know who have been with this blog since the start (my apologies) I’ve never really been able to problematise my problem other than “it feels wrong”. Thanks to the session by Ben and Doug I’ve been thinking a lot about it. Last week in response to David and I not agreeing again, I did up a model. It didn’t feel right. So, today I returned to the big sticky note on the wall and I think I worked it out. The product of education, defined by industry and government is being delivered by universities through their interpretation of the defined product which then produces graduates who are interpreted by industry based on how they defined the product. And no one is happy.

Problem is, the doesn’t need post-structuralism to analyse. Yes, I’m still looking at language and how it constructs the ideas and how there is a disconnect between what is said and what is happening, but that’s not about questioning of structures, it’s a questioning of how we are interpreting. It’s a translation issue, not a neo-liberal issue. If my thesis is about explaining what the problem is and pointing out it exists, I can’t do it in a way that turns people off. Going down post-structuralism is turning people off. It’s too angry for what the issue is.

The literature tells me ¬†universities, government and industry do want ‘good’ education. And while it tells me globalisation is tearing university education, it’s by accident rather than design. We are here by chance, or perhaps incompetence, not because of intent. Did people really intend university education to become what it is? I need to write a thesis to answer this question, and perhaps depending on the answer, provide hope for how university education might just become what people want, rather than what it is.

How long does good luck last???

So today I found this: Higher Education in Australia: A review of reviews from Dawkins to today

How lucky can I get? I was looking for something completely different (financial statistics) and found a document done by the government summarising the time period I need for my thesis in policy review terms! Oh yeah!

Also, had a great day writing and researching. Continued with data collection and all I can say is – I’m surprised. Wasn’t expecting to be but totally am. I thought the submissions would be a bit more focused on the money side but apparently it’s all about student choice of provider and all about the equity. Equity for students but also equity for institutions. There is a real ‘us and them’ mentality in the universities which I knew was present, but didn’t understand how large it loomed. Also found out today that only four universities in 2014 ran at a loss. Also found out that all universities’ financial information is put out by DET. I’m assuming others knew this, but I did not. Now I do!!! Learning is so much fun.

I did spend some time on hegemony today. I think I understand the journey of Laclau and Mouffe through the Marxist transitions, however, I would not even bet $10 as yet as to how close I am in understanding. You know what, not even $1.

More importantly, my house is a little cold so I got myself the best beanie – it’s Bert from Sesame Street. It appeals to me to be thinking about the future of Australian education while wearing a muppet on my head.