Educational System in Australia
To begin with, the modern educational system in Australia has a major drawback, which can be defined as restricted access of students from poor families to the ability to study at the university. Social diversity is a common phenomenon in the Australian community. Furthermore, six major social classes are identified in Australia such as established affluent, emerging affluent, established middle, new workers, aging workers, and the precariat (Carey 2018). Additionally, all the people, who are members of particular classes, have different social and cultural backgrounds that depend on the class to which a particular person belongs. Unfortunately, only children from the highest strata of the Australian population have an opportunity to pursue a degree of good quality (Gale 2014). This issue, when only higher layers of the population have access to good education is caused by the system of meritocracy common to the country’s educational system, where the financial background of students is more important than their talents and abilities (Gale 2014). Nevertheless, the event that occurred in the 2000s and is called the educational revolution has helped the lower strata of the Australian population to pursue a degree (Baker 2014). It was aimed at the formation of the educated community within the country by providing all the people with equal chances to pursue a university degree regardless his/of her social status. Thus, the modern Australian educational system should provide representatives of the lowest social classes with an opportunity to pursue a good education that can help them to change their class to the higher one.
Six Social Classes in Australia
In the modern community of Australia, there can be acknowledged six different social classes. First, most of Australian citizens suffering from poverty represent its first social class, known as the precariat (most of them require governmental help because they are unemployed performing the lowest cultural and social capital country’s sources) (Carey 2018). Second, the following class is represented by ageing workers (14% of Australian population), people, whose average age is 58 years (Carey 2018). Third, new employees perform a completely different half of all the Australian workers, employed fulltime being more successful from financial, cultural, and social points of view than ageing workers (Carey 2018). Fourth, established middle is more comfortable and entrenched social class in their status than new workers because of more accumulated wealth (Carey 2018). Fifth, the emerging affluent class reports higher income of its representatives in comparison with established middle, while their accumulations are lower (Carey 2018). Finally, established affluent is represented by people with the highest performance rates from cultural, economic, and social viewpoints in the country (Carey 2018).
In fact, Australian people are aware of their specific class identity with self-assessing membership in these classes, reflecting the relative mobility and capital of objectively measures social classes. Nevertheless, it is obvious that people belonging to emerging affluent and new worker classes are upwardly mobile, representing higher probability of self-identification as the Australian middle class (Sheppard & Biddle 2017). Furthermore, people from the established affluent social class in Australia will definitely assess themselves as representatives of upper class of their community (Sheppard & Biddle 2017). Hence, there is a difference between people based on the variety of social classes in the newest community of the nowadays country. It is said that the Australian community is now diversified only from socio-economic statuses and occupational categorization (Sheppard & Biddle 2017). As a result, although the modern community is strictly differentiated social classes’ point of view, one can see the varieties in cultural background of each class determined by oneself.
All Australian people see their main goal in constant economic enrichment, which can be achieved through the main principles of numeracy and literacy of an educated and successful person. Moreover, each person now must rely more on advanced skills in the spheres of technology and science, although equal access to this knowledge is not significantly required. In turn, critical thinking is one of the most important parts of education of each individual to achieve economic prosperity in his/her life. Nevertheless, Australian system of education restricts students’ access to the source of improvement of critical thinking skills, as the desired community of the country consists of technically trained technicians. These people will have to complete plans of the country’s elites whose the main goal is to reach technological development and foreign investments (Nussbaum 2009). The educational system of Australia is currently focused on improvement of technical skills of children and students, while other parts of essential educational such as literature and art are ignored, since they do not contribute to financial development (Nussbaum 2009). Finally, the modern Australian community is represented by people aimed on earning more and more money strongly desiring physical enrichment, while the basic principles of moral wisdom and critical thinking are forgotten.
Meritocracy in Educational Sphere
One can be observe a significant disadvantage in education of personality in the modern community of Australia based on its educational systems’ meritocracy. First, the governmental structures of the country represent disproportionate independent schools’ spending (Gale 2014). Second, there is a disproportionate representation of the children from very rich families in elite occupations and in elite universities (Gale 2014). This supports the idea that the modern society of Australia is a good example of how the merits of country’s citizens can shape one’s further educational and occupational success. Currently, meritocracy is the elite’s strategy in Australia, while the independent school students’ spending is much higher than in other Western countries. For example, in 2009, an average students’ net recurrent income was $13,667 in the independent education sector, $10,002 in the Catholic sector, and $11,121 in the government sector, while the average income of university students’ parents was more than $450,000 annually (Gale 2014). Subsequently, in the modern Australian community only the upper layers of the society can afford their children to pursue a degree at university due to existence of meritocracy in the country.
Unfortunately, the most common postulates regarding the educational processes in the modern Australia cannot be supported after thorough consideration of the question of social difference in the country’s community. First, the country is not marked as a place, where one can found total equality of all people, as well as in other countries performing the Western society (Tait 2012). Secondly, the educational success of an individual does not depend only on the talents and skills acquired by the person. In contrast, a wide range of resources, even those as financial background of a person, plays significant role in the performance’s rates of a student during educational process (Tait 2012). In turn, current Australian system of education can be considered as a giant social filter for the modern society of the country. This filter, unfortunately, tries to sort people not based only on his/her abilities, but is closely related to how far the parents of a student got, and how much money they have now (Tait 2012). In turn, the existence of this filter restricts an access of the most talented people from the lower classes of the Australian community to achieve the higher education, and succeed in their lives in accordance with their abilities. Thus, the modern educational system in Australia seems to limit an access of students from the lowest social classes of the country to education, regardless his/her abilities and talents, as financial background of students’ parents is important.
Ways of Eliminating Meritocracy in Education
The modern Australian students have a significant problem with an access to the education. For instance, the Australian education system is based on the principle of merits that students are able to provide to universities such as a chance to pay more for their education (Reay 2001). Therefore, it caused a situation, when the working classes’ representatives of the country can be recognized due to the level of their education. For instance, the surveys show that these people are less clever and cultured than people belonging to the middle classes (Reay 2001). Nevertheless, recent development of the Australian society allowed representatives of its lowest classes to achieve degrees in higher institutions of the country. After a research, it was concluded that the National Curriculum does not positively influence the necessary volumes of knowledge needed for complexities of life that can wait for a person of the 21st century, regardless his/her social class (Reay 2001). It is not an easy task to modify or eliminate the most social and economic factors behind the worst sufferings and mechanisms regulating the educational market of Australia now. Additionally, any political program that is not able to use the possibilities’ advantages needed for actions that scientific education can help to achieve for an individual from any social level (Reay 2001). As a result, the modern Australian government should thoroughly think about how useful the current educational program within the country is and what can be done in the nearest future to simplify the life of all its classes through the affordable education.
There also is a close connection between the social mobility of any person and one’s educational background in modern Australia. The main question that should be answered by the current governmental structures of the country is what should be done to increase the social mobility of representatives of different social classes of this community. Furthermore, in order to improve the social justice and equity in the country’s society it is required to consider educational opportunities of its population. Moreover, the discourse of social mobility in the modern Australian community is problematic for the lowest layers of the country’s populace (Cunninghame 2017). However, continuation of funding for successful scholarship, outreach, and enabling programs is an integral full diversity ensuring connected with the Australia based on higher education of people (Cunninghame 2017). Nowadays, each Australian citizen can achieve high level of social mobility regardless level of social class. In fact, permanent financing of scholarship programs as well as development of programs and policies aimed on providing the lowest social groups with an access to education is the moving factor of mobility creation in the modern society of Australia.
Historical Context of Educational Revolution
The historical context of evolution of the Australian educational system is closely connected with education revolution. The educational revolution, which occurred at the beginning of the XXI century plays a significant role in the process of social changes within the nowadays’ society of Australia (Baker 2014). It has become an integral part of providing of the representatives of the lowest strata of the Australian population with the access to a university degree without enormous money inputs (Baker 2014). Besides, the educational revolution results into professionalization, management requirements, and jobs’ cognitive complexity, especially in employment sector of large organizations (Baker 2014). The social classes that have always been restricted by the educational management of the country with an ability to pursue higher education caused by increasing prices on studying are now have a chance to improve their social situation through a good education (Baker 2014). Moreover, GED’s using and school/college dropout raise to come back to the schooled community are the major consequences of the educational revolution (Baker 2014). Thus, educational revolution is the most significant event in the history of Australian education, which dramatically changed the educational system of the country providing people that always were limited in the studying with a chance to acquire a university degree.
I am convinced that pedagogy, assessment, and curriculum are very important for the process of pursuing a quality education and, in turn, increase mobility among different social classes for any Australian citizen. First, pedagogy is the style of students’ teaching that may both, encourage and discourage people to study anything. Obviously, it is an essential part of success for an educational program, if students are inspired by a teacher, since it provides them with an additional desire to study. Second, assessment is important for both, students’ inspiration and their ability to evaluate their own skills and knowledge adequately. For example, if a teacher finds only defects in someone’s works, his/her level of learning inspiration decreases, and vice versa. Furthermore, if a pedagogue combines search for mistakes and praises for good work, a learners can understand their own abilities, and how to evaluate advantages and disadvantages of their knowledge. Third, the curriculum is the basis for successful transformation of the representative of one social class into another one. Literally formed curriculum helps a student to learn only subjects that will be useful for the future work and life, providing a learner with a chance to move between social classes with easiness. This easiness can be achieved by constant broadening of one’s own horizons of knowledge by choosing the most appropriate subject for the student. Finally, the higher quality of a person’s education is, the higher is likelihood that he/she will be able to change social class to the higher one in the future. Thus, pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment are the primary factors of earning a high quality’s degree, and, hence, an ability to move through social classes without obstacles.
The modern government of Australia should create opportunities for the representatives of the lowest strata of population to achieve higher education. In turn, it will significantly contribute to the process of acceleration of changing of one’s social class to a higher one. Established affluent, emerging affluent, established middle, new workers, ageing workers and the precariat are the six main social layers of population in the modern community of Australia. Each of these classes differ from others by their specific educational, cultural, and financial backgrounds that are openly evidenced by these classes’ representatives. Therefore, it creates a restricted access for the people from the lowest social classes to a chance to pursue a degree at university. The tendency of meritocracy in the modern Australian community causes the situation, when the abilities and talents of children is the secondary factor that influences their opportunity to have a good education. In contrast, the achievements and wealth of their parents is the moving factor of these personalities’ success in educational process. However, the modern governmental system of the country has already decided that it is required to change this situation, since it negatively affects the population’s level of education. This process of education’s transformation is called educational revolution, which provides the lowest classes’ representatives with an opportunity to pursue a degree with the assistance of various scholarships.