Neoliberalism and the New Right Perspective on Educatio

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  • Neoliberalism and the New Right Perspective on Education
    • Neoliberalism - an economic doctrine that has major influence on educational policies
      • Believe the state shouldn't provide services
      • Based on the idea that the state shouldn't dictate to individuals on how to dispose of their own property and shouldn't try to regulate the free-market economy
        • Governments should try to encourage competition, privatise state-run businesses and deregulate markets
      • Value of education lies in how well it enables the country to compete in the global market place
        • Can only be achieved if schools become more like businesses
          • Empowering parents and pupils as consumers
          • Using competition between schools to drive up standards
    • The New Right
      • The state cannot meet peoples needs and people are best left to meet their own own needs through the free market
      • Similarities to Functionalist views
        • Believe some people are naturally more talented than others
        • Favour an education system run on meritocratic principles of open competition - serves the needs of economy by preparing young people for work
        • Believe that education should socialise pupils into society's shared values and instil a sense of national identity
      • Current education system isn't achieving goals and is failing - STATE RUN
        • Takes a 'one size fits all' approach
        • Education systems are unresponsive and inefficient
        • Schools that waste money or get poor results - not answerable to consumers
          • Results in - lower standards of achievement for pupils, a less qualified work force and a less prosperous economy
        • Solution = marketisation of education
          • Competition between schools and empowering consumers will bring greater diversity, choice and efficiency to schools
            • Increases schools' abilities to meet the needs of pupils, parents and employers
    • Chubb and Moe: Consumer Choice
      • State-run education has failed in the USA:
        • Hasn't created equal opportunities - failed the needs of disadvantaged groups
        • Inefficient - fails to produce pupils with the skills needed by the economy
        • Private schools deliver higher quality education - answerable to paying consumers
      • Introduction of market-style system in state education
        • Would put consumers in control
        • Allows consumers to shape schools to meet their own needs and improves their quality and efficiency
        • Each family would be given a voucher to spend on buying education from a school of their choice
          • Forces schools to become more responsive to parents' wishes
          • Schools would have to compete to attract 'customers' by improving their 'product'
    • The New Right: Two Roles of the State
      • State imposes a framework on schools within which they have to compete
      • State ensures that schools transmit a shared culture - imposing a single  national curriculum, it seeks to guarantee that schools socialise pupils into a single cultural heritage
      • Education should affirm national identity - aim to integrate pupils into a single set of traditions and cultural values
    • Evaluation
      • Gewirtz (1995) and Ball (1994) - competition between schools benefits the middle-class who can use their cultural and economic capital to gain access to more desirable schools
      • The real cause of low educational standards - social inequality and inadequate funding of state schools
      • Contradiction between the New Right's support for parental choice and the state imposing a compulsory national curriculum in all schools
      • Marxists - education imposes a culture of a dominant minority ruling class


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