Australian Journal of Education

Article Title

Students’ perceptions of schooling in a senior secondary education system


Through the voices of students and teachers at an elite coeducational private school and a school situated in a low socio-economic area, this paper explores the potential consequences for students of school alignment or misalignment with the structural imperatives of the broader Queensland senior secondary education system. Although the schools are situated within the same system, the achievement expectations and practices of the two schools were vastly different. Moreover, the structuring features of the private school ‘field’ aligned more closely with the official processes and expectations of the Queensland assessment regime than did those at the other school. School differences in the students’ understandings of and investments in their education were observed in relation to differences in school practice.