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In this paper, the author reports on an analysis of an Australian university’s assessment procedure. The procedure – a major governance document of the university – is deconstructed by way of a Foucauldian discourse analysis in order to consider how students and academics are governed. There were three major findings. The dominant discourse operating in relation to student assessment was that of administration; a finding consistent with previous work in this area and at other universities. The main subject position in this discourse of administration is one of silence for the academic and of a performer for the student, one who is rewarded with the award of a degree if the performance is satisfactory. The passion to learn and to teach is nowhere to be found in this administrative discourse, one not unique to the said university, indeed one that flourishes in Western universities today.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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