(Re)thinking equity: the spatial and racial dynamics of managing learning and learning to manage

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The vocational education and training (VET) sector has experienced substantial change in the past decade, characterised by ascendant industry‐driven needs and mantras of flexibility and responsiveness. A number of public policies underpin these changes and simultaneously point to the need to manage diverse employing bodies, industry standards, learning pathways and flexible pedagogies. Learning is big business, as indeed is the business of managing learning, and women are increasingly visible as workers, educators and managers in Australian VET. This article draws on interview and focus‐group data provided by seven women to explore the challenges of managing learning and learning to manage, in systems which are simultaneously spaces of equity and racialised spaces of sustained inequality. While much work has addressed the managerialist ethos underpinning funding arrangements for contemporary VET providers, an unexplored dimension of this context is the complicated and complicitous position women managers find themselves in as they manage the colonial spaces of VET. This article attempts a conversation across contemporary equity discourses, postcolonial and critical interrogations of whiteness, and educational management literature questioning the usefulness of contemporary literature on managing learning and learning to manage, premised as it is on Eurocentric views of management theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-513
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


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