HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 19 no. 2 (2010)

Middle Schooling Policy Processes in a Catholic Context: Synergies and Dissonances

Amelia Toffoli | Lesley Vidovich | Tom O' Donoghue

Discipline: Education



From the 1960s, conflict and struggle have been associated with the development of middle schooling policy processes in various societies. The State of Western Australia has been no exception to this general trend. Drawing from the field of ‘policy sociology,’ the research reported in this paper analysed middle schooling policy processes in the Western Australian Catholic Education System during the 1990s and 2000s. The data were collected from interviews with key players (system leaders, school leaders and teachers) and documentary sources. Various synergies and dissonances with influences, policy text production, practices/effects, outcomes and political strategies used in relation to middle schooling arising from the study are examined. Also, themes arising from the study that offer insights into middle schooling policy processes in a Catholic education system that does not have a formal policy statement for middle schooling yet demonstrates active engagement with middle schooling principles and practices are considered.