Disrupting Perception: Mapping An Understanding Of Educational Attainment

Georgia Sutton, Catriona Mcleod, Sharon Fraser, Michael Corbett


Educational attainment is widely recognised as a ‘wicked’ problem in Australia for which a range of interventions have been developed. The North West of Tasmania is a rural and regional community, which has been a focus for such interventions due to its relatively low rates of retention to Year 12 and low tertiary participation rates. This paper seeks to move beyond narratives of deficit through a project aimed at exploring and representing the scope and range of activities undertaken in the region to address and support educational attainment. We begin with the question: ‘How can communities, perceived to be deficit models, be provided with evidence of activities aimed at impacting educational attainment in a meaningful way?’  We used concept mapping to re-present the variety, type and audience of activities in the region.  Concept mapping provided a means of processing a dynamic assemblage of data to represent existing work and to explore possibilities. This process disrupts deficit discourses and enhances stakeholders’ knowledge of educational attainment in the region and invites future mapping and more complex understandings of ongoing cultural change.


educational attainment, concept mapping, rhizoanalysis, cultural change

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