Partnership: lessons from the past

Thody, Angela (2000) Partnership: lessons from the past. In: Partnerships: shaping the future of education. Research in education . Middlesex University Press, London, pp. 218-232. ISBN 1898253285

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Partnership: Lessons from the past
This chapter suggests a new concept, ‘mutual transference empowerment’, to describe partnerships between central/local governments and school-based governance
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Abstract

This chapter suggests a new concept, ‘mutual transference empowerment’, to describe partnerships between central/local governments and school-based governance. School governing bodies, councils, trusts or boards are being developed in many late twentieth century educational systems as a means of facilitating partnership between schools and their communities. It is not often realised that such structures for partnership could be seen as a revival of a nineteenth century model but a model in which the local partners lost virtually all their power to their central governments by around 1900. The prevailing explanations for this are that centralising forces took over either because local school-based direction of education provided insufficient and inadequate schooling, or because of an irresistible, central, desire for power. These explanations hide the apparent contradiction that localism continued to be encouraged throughout the century by the centralised authorities and that there were local successes. This paper suggests that, in addition to centralising forces, the local communities themselves, inadvertently or willingly, may have colluded in handing power to centralising structures through lack of interest in continuing with local responsibilities. The terminology of ‘mutual transference empowerment’ has been suggested in this paper for this process in which centralising and localising forces each attempted to ensure they passed responsibilities to others in the structure of education government. Empirical evidence for the study is drawn from nineteenth century Tasmania. Readers are invited to reflect on whether or not mutual transference empowerment will repeat itself there, or in other twentieth century contexts, as institutional, local and central governments focus again on who will lead schooling.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:This chapter suggests a new concept, ‘mutual transference empowerment’, to describe partnerships between central/local governments and school-based governance. School governing bodies, councils, trusts or boards are being developed in many late twentieth century educational systems as a means of facilitating partnership between schools and their communities. It is not often realised that such structures for partnership could be seen as a revival of a nineteenth century model but a model in which the local partners lost virtually all their power to their central governments by around 1900. The prevailing explanations for this are that centralising forces took over either because local school-based direction of education provided insufficient and inadequate schooling, or because of an irresistible, central, desire for power. These explanations hide the apparent contradiction that localism continued to be encouraged throughout the century by the centralised authorities and that there were local successes. This paper suggests that, in addition to centralising forces, the local communities themselves, inadvertently or willingly, may have colluded in handing power to centralising structures through lack of interest in continuing with local responsibilities. The terminology of ‘mutual transference empowerment’ has been suggested in this paper for this process in which centralising and localising forces each attempted to ensure they passed responsibilities to others in the structure of education government. Empirical evidence for the study is drawn from nineteenth century Tasmania. Readers are invited to reflect on whether or not mutual transference empowerment will repeat itself there, or in other twentieth century contexts, as institutional, local and central governments focus again on who will lead schooling.
Keywords:local government, central/local government, school governors, Tasmania, Mutual Transfer Empowerment, Nineteenth Century, History Educational Leadership, Educational Leadership, School Leadership, School Management, Australia School Management
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V261 Australian History
X Education > X370 Academic studies in Education (across phases)
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V390 History by Topic not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:1646
Deposited By: Angela Thody
Deposited On:09 Oct 2008 14:59
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:30

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