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Who Gets to be Smart?
January 1, 2021  /  370 pages  (is this book fiction or nonfiction?)
Bri Lee asks Who gets to be smart? in this forensic and hard-hitting exploration of knowledge, power and privilege. In 2018, Bri Lee's brilliant young friend Damian was named a Rhodes Scholar, an apex of academic achievement. When she goes to visit him and takes a tour of Oxford and Rhodes House, she begins questioning her belief in a system she has previously revered, as she learns the truth behind what Virginia Woolf described almost a century earlier as the 'stream of gold and silver' that flows through elite institutions and dictates decisions about who deserves to be educated there. The question that forms in her mind drives the following two years of conversations and investigations: Who gets to be smart? Interrogating the adage, 'knowledge is power', and calling institutional prejudice to account, Bri dives into her own privilege and presumptions to bring us the stark and confronting results. Far from offering any 'equality of opportunity', Australia's education system exacerbates social stratification.
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