Who Gets to Be Smart by Bri Lee review – gutsy but unfocused interrogation of academic privilege | Australian books | The Guardian

Bri Lee and the cover of her new book, Who Gets To Be Smart.

Lee’s book is laden with research – podcasts, budget reports, soul-jarring statistics (to choose just one: in 2019, Australia’s four richest schools spent more on new facilities and renovations than the poorest 1,800 combined). But Who Gets to be Smart is light on listening. This book yearns for interviews, for the voices of those who are falling into the dark of education’s ever-growing equity gap: parents of children with disabilities, who have to fight for inclusive teaching; Indigenous students who quietly learn to dream smaller; the vast army of casual adjuncts, keeping universities open but teaching for crumbs; the principals of public schools struggling to repair the toilets when the private school down the road has on-site baristas; the women who’ve dropped out of higher ed because Covid-era caring commitments have made study untenable. Seated next to a high-profile vice chancellor on a plane, Lee delights in reading his emails over his shoulder, but she never asks him a question. That feels like a metaphor, too.

Source: Who Gets to Be Smart by Bri Lee review – gutsy but unfocused interrogation of academic privilege | Australian books | The Guardian

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