Elite independent schools in globalising circumstances

The Elite independent schools in globalising circumstances: a multi-sited global ethnography research project is a multi-sited global ethnographic study of high status schools in

  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Barbados
  • South Africa
  • England
  • Argentina
  • Cyprus
  • Israel
  • Poland

- all with historical links to the British empire’s ‘public’ schools model. As such schools are often seen as the gold standard for school education, and because their alumni are often highly influential in economic, political and professional circles, understanding what they do and the ideals they stand for is important nationally and globally. This study will identify the impact of increasing global forces, connections and imaginations on such schools and will enhance understanding of how many national and transnational leaders are formed through their education and with what possible implications.

The project aims to explore whether and how high status schools are changing as a result of global interconnections. It will explore such things as

  • the impact of increased global flows of students, parents and alumni on such schools
  • if and how the schools are altering their curriculum in relation to global labour markets
  • how the students are imagining their place and purpose in the global world and how the school is helping to shape their imagination
  • if and how future global as well as national leaders are being prepared
  • the links the schools are developing with like-minded schools and universities around the world
  • how the schools unify tradition and innovation.

Project funding

This project is funded by a number of organisations:

  • Australian Research Council (Discovery grant, 2010-2014 inclusive)
  • Monash University
  • Melbourne University
  • Cardiff University
  • Illinois University
  • the Hong Kong Institute of Education
  • the Institute of Education in Singapore.