McGowan, Wayne S.

Dr. Wayne S. McGowan is a Whitfield Fellow at The University of Western Australia. He has extensive experience in teachers’ professional development, educational leadership and policy development. His research interests include political philosophy, especially in education, and the changing subjectivities, technologies and rationalities of power in the administration of education.

Responsibility of Parents for the Education of Their Children
2006 0-7734-5810-7
This book utilizes Foucault’s thinking about the practice of government to analyze how the parent is made responsible for educating the child in the name of freedom. It maps the rationality of freedom as a formula for power to govern the conduct of parents by fabricating the responsible parent that makes deviant ‘others’ as those who act outside the limits of certain prescribed actions.

Central to the work is an examination of the School Education Act 1999 (Western Australia) and associated contemporary material, analyzed to map the limits of freedom which specify certain actions to be undertaken by the parent in educating the child. This is prefaced by a historical account of different discourses on childhood as the will to truth that justify these limits by constraining other dangerous discourses in the present.

The book reveals how legislating as a practice of liberal government simultaneously accommodates two different discursive formations of freedom (positive and negative), thus producing a governmentality of fears and dreams about freedom. Such governmentality divides the community through the on-going production of ‘irresponsible others’ for the political purpose of inciting autonomous parents to constitute themselves as responsible.

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