Neo-liberal Subjectivities and the Limits of Social Change in University-Community Partnerships

February 2007

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 35, Issue 1 February 2007, pages 27 – 40

In this paper the authors analyse a university-school partnership that went awry. It was designed to develop a new set of philosophical principles to inform work with violent student behaviour in schools. The project brought together a team of researchers from the university and school sector with a strong record of examining and improving the management of behaviour in classrooms.

The authors sought volunteer school-based educators to work with them as co-researchers. Despite the team's strong school-based research background, the mutual interest in developing a new approach to work with violence, and the strong collaborative base, they found themselves, as the initiating research team, unable to progress in the ways they had anticipated.

This paper analyses the dynamics at work in that lack of progress. The analysis is put forward with the hope of enlivening discussion about what makes for successful collaborative projects between schools and universities.

Updated: Jan. 14, 2008