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DOI

10.14221/ajte.1994v19n1.6

Abstract

"If you build it, they will come," says one of the characters in the film Field of Dreams. In the key scene of the film, the magical power of belief draws dreamers and long-dead baseball heros together in a baseball diamond cut from a mId-western farmer's corn field. Belief overcomes reality, and the film's characters and their baseball heroes play the perfect baseball games of imagination in the light of a long golden dusk. The National Schools Project is like that, we think in three ways. First, its creators have believed that it is possible for Australian schools to be more participative, democratlc and effective. They have dreamed of' schools that are not stifled by the rigidities of the bureaucratic frameworks erected by generations of school system managers and union officials. Second, agamst a backdrop of falling resource allocations to education, industrial unrest and declining teacher morale, the creators of the National Schools Project have set up a framework for reform and invited teachers and schools to join them in their field of dreams. They built the National Schools Project and hundreds of schools have come to join them. Third, like the film itself, the project is surrounded by sceptics who want to replace the golden light of the dream wIth the harsher light of external evaluation, to tell. us that it was all a dream. Perhaps this metaphor is a bit far-fetched, but the purpose of this paper is to explain why we think that the National Schools Project is a "field of dreams". - brarely Imagined, worth believing in, if not quite tangIble close-up.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.1994v19n1.6