The dynamic nature of school populations, impacted by globalisation and constant socio-cultural change, has implications for educational policy, pedagogy, classroom practices, early childhood settings and school–community relations. Thus, to work as an equitable educator with today's children and youth, one requires a sociological understanding of schooling from early childhood through to secondary completion. It is critical that educators see how education intersects with a range of diverse subjectivities, the power relations inherent in these intersections, and the inequities that are apparent – including the visible and invisible, the voiced and silenced.
Thus, pre-service educators require knowledge about a range of sociological theoretical concepts to critically unpack the complexities of education in relation to the lives of young people, their families and communities. Such knowledge should be fostered during the pre-service stages of an educator's career to provide a foundation from which to appreciate more deeply their potential impact on future generations. Additionally, the changing expectations of educators, as reflected in the Australian context, demand a greater focus on the teacher–researcher nexus. This has been institutionally inscribed through changes to the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9, which calls for teacher education courses to produce graduates capable of researching and applying theory to their work. This enhances the imperative for pre-service educators to embrace theoretical understandings during their pre-service teacher education to develop the capacity to use this knowledge to analyse and critique praxis.
This book, based squarely on the research of its contributors, provides an accessible theoretical and research-based reader for upper-level and postgraduate pre-service educators. Each chapter reports upon current, topical research in the sociology of education. Through explanation and analysis, key theoretical concepts are applied to critically interrogate, inform and challenge many taken-for-granted knowledges and practices in education. The chapters are generally grounded in the Australian context; however, some chapters are linked to international research demonstrating widespread relevance of the issue under discussion. Wherever possible, the implications of the theory and research are made relevant to early childhood, primary and secondary contexts; as a result, the book resonates with a variety of audiences.
This second edition, at the beginning of each chapter, articulates how the work reflects the relevant Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST).