History of neoliberalism & education (inequality)

In this session we will focus the history of neoliberalism and its influence on education. We will use three texts for this one.

1. ‘What is neoliberalism?’ by Dag Einer Thorsen & Amund Lie, 17 pages. This is an exploration into the meaning of neoliberalism. This might overlap a little with what we did during our first session, so if you think you have a good understanding of neoliberalism you might focus on the other two articles.

2. ‘Forging a neoliberal pedagogy: The enterprising education agenda in schools’ by Patricia McCafferty, 20 pages. This paper explores the uncritical promotion of values of enterprise and entrepreneurship through approaches that lead to greater ‘frontline’ business involvement in schools, helping to normalize free market values and ‘neoliberal commonplaces’.

3. ‘Privatization Reform and Inequality of Educational Opportunity: The Case of Chile’ by Florencia Torche, 22 pages. An article that explores the influences of educational privatization in Chile on educational inequality. With this case study we hope to get an understanding of the way in which neoliberalist education influences inequalities in our society.

For the motivated ones, we also selected some further reading:
– ‘Neoliberalism and higher education’ by Stanley Fish, a New York Times article on the subject.
– ‘Neoliberalism and education’ by Bronwyn Davies & Peter Bansel. Which examines neoliberalism at work through a close examination of the texts and talk through which neoliberal subjects and their schooling have been constituted over the last two decades. In this Introduction the authors provide their own take on the way the present social and political order has emerged as something that its subjects take to be inevitable.

Upcoming weeks:

  • Mar. 6 : Relationship education & social movements (particular focus South America)
  • Mar. 20: ‘Frankfurter Schüle’
  • Apr. 3 : ‘Education paradigms’
  • Apr. 17: Moving forward; resistance (Utrecht)

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