Educating for (whose) success? Schooling in an age of neo-liberalism
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In western nations, the social and economic changes of the past 30 years have facilitated a reorientation of the focus of educational institutions. Global capitalism has placed education at the forefront of national competitiveness, and governments have responded with education policies primarily designed to serve the needs of the market. Such neo-liberal economic imperatives have been supported by a variety of neoconservative social forces calling for schools to become sites of cultural and moral restoration. This paper draws upon current theoretical debates about the consequences of such changes and employs ethnographic data from a small qualitative study of Australian youth to argue the case for a more democratic and student-centred approach to educational reform. It contends that in the interests of all young people, it is time for schools to resist systemic impulses to make them producers of human capital and claim their role as transformative institutions of human possibility.
British Journal of Sociology of Education
© 2009 Routledge. This is an electronic version of an article published in British Journal of Sociology of Education, Volume 30, Issue 3 May 2009 , pages 345 - 358. British Journal of Sociology of Education is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com with the open URL of your article.