New Right Perspective on Education

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  • Created by: Lilly
  • Created on: 11-04-13 00:39

Functionalist and NR compared

New right have similar ideas to Functionalists:

  • Believe that some people are naturally more talented than others
  • Agree with Functionalists that education should be run on meritocratic principles of open competition
  • They believe that education should socialise students into shared values and provide a sense of social identity
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The Market vesus the state

1) The effects of state control

  • Key feature of NR (not found in Functionalism) is that there is too much state control of education as well as other areas of social and economic life, this has resulted in inefficiency, national economic decline and a lack of personal and business initiative- culture of welfare dependancy has developed, the cost of which has reduced investment in industry

2) One size fits all

  • NR arguements based on belief that the state cannot meet peoples needs- in state-run education system, education inevitably ends up as 'one size fits all'- does not meet individual and community needs or the needs of employers for skilled and motivated employees

3)Lower standards

  • State schools- not accountable to those who use them- students, parents and employees. Schools that get poor results do not change because they are not answerable to their consumers- the result is lower standards and a less qualified workforce
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Solution: Marketisation

  • Issue is how to make schools more responsive to their 'consumers'
  • Marketisation- the introduction of market forces of consumer choice and competition between suppliers (schools) into areas run by the state (such as education and health)
  • Argue that creating 'education market' forces schools to respond to the demands of students, parents and employees- e.g. competition with other schools means that teachers have to be more efficient- school's survival depends on its ability to raise the ability levels of its students.
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Chubb and Moe: Giving the consumer choice

  • Compared the achievement of 60000 students from low-income families in 1015 states and private high schools in USA- data shows that students from low-income families do 5% better than private schools- suggests that state education is not meritocratic
  • State education failed to create equal opportunities because it doesn't have to repsond to student's needs- parents and community cannot do anything about failing schools while the schools are controlled by the state.
  • Private schools produce higher quality education because they are answerable to paying consumers- the parents


  • Their answer to the supposed inefficientcy of state schools is to introduce a market system in a state education- but is give control to consumers (parents and local communities)- this should be done by a vocher system in which each familiy would give a vocher to spend on buying education from a school of their choice.
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Evaluation of New Right Perspective

  • Although school standards- measured by exam results- seem to have risen, there are other possible reasons for this improvement apart from the introduction of a market
  • Critics argue that low standards in some state schools are the result of inadequate funding rather than state control of education
  • Gerwitz-competition between schools benefits the M/C who can get their children into more desirable schools
  • Marxists- education imposes the culture of a ruling class, not a standard culture or 'national identity' as a the New Right claim
  • The NR view rests on their claim that state control is the cause of educational problems, if other factors are the cause then the whole NR arguement falls apart.
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