This paper explores how popular ideological discourses within public policy are influencing the views and practices of pre-service teachers at a university in Melbourne. The research began by examining how educational success has been historically understood by individuals vis-à-vis government discourse. Three values and four corresponding ideological positions were used to create a theoretical framework. The researcher then surveyed a small cross-section of pre-service teachers to investigate how these values contributed to their understandings of educational success, and how these understandings were used to justify their receptions of neoliberal reforms in education. The data shows that democratic equality was the most influential value in participant understandings of educational success. However, attitudes and justifications towards the reforms diverged significantly, suggesting that these values were being positioned differently in discourse. The results were then critically analysed with reference to the theoretical framework. The paper concludes with a discussion of potential implications for policymaking in teacher education, and highlights the importance of preserving the intellectual autonomy of pre-service teachers as they enter the profession.


Submission Location