The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 107–122 | Cite as

“Finding what doesn’t fit”: Adjusting the focus on education in country towns as a limiting case for the “learning or earning” years

  • Robert Funnell


Limiting, or nonconforming cases are good tests in research for extending a concept’s reach and broadening generalisations, but the method is under utilised in the formation and assessment of educational policy. In this paper a rural town is described as a case, among others, not fitting policy regulations for “learning or earning” in Years 11 and 12 in Queensland. It is argued, through a description of the production and reproduction of the town’s service economy, that neither the curriculum nor the workforce can be placed within a theory of social and economic networking underpinning policies on retention and pathways upon which the Queensland legislation rests. Cases such as these are difficult to uncover because factors that best describe their true economic and social conditions tend to be compressed within statistical reporting models for educational regions. While the focus is on a rural town, the purpose is to advance policy design and implementation that seeks to sustain educational change in diverse conditions.


Rural Town Popul Ation Queen Land Service Town State Land Area 
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Copyright information

© Australian Association for Research in Education 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Funnell
    • 1
  1. 1.Griffith UniversityAustralia

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