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A critical pedagogy of vocational education and training in schools and communities struggling with shifts in the global economy.

Down, B. (2006) A critical pedagogy of vocational education and training in schools and communities struggling with shifts in the global economy. Learning communities: international journal of learning in social contexts (3). pp. 94-120.

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    Abstract

    This article argues that if students in disadvantaged schools and communities are going to receive a fair go then we must begin to interrupt existing conceptions of vocational education and training, in particular the ways in which they perpetuate established social hierarchies based on class, race and gender. Listening to the experiences of over 125 teachers, students and parents from four disadvantaged schools in the outer metropolitan suburbs of Perth, Western Australia (Smyth & Down, 2005) it soon becomes apparent that the new realities of the global economy fuelled by the increasingly successful educational policies and practices of the New Right are (re)shaping schools to better fit the narrow sectional interests of the economy. As politicians, business and corporate interests continue their sustained attacks on public schooling we are witnessing the emergence of what Apple (2001) describes as “conservative modernization” whereby educational commonsense is redefined around a set of neo-liberal and neo-conservative values:
    … we are told to “free’ our school by placing them into the competitive market, restore “our” traditional common culture and stress discipline and character, return God to our classrooms as a guide to all our conduct inside and outside the school, and tighten central control through more rigorous and tough-minded standards and tests. This is all supposed to be done at the same time. It is all supposed to guarantee an education that benefits everyone. Well, maybe not (p.5).

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
    Publisher: Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia, University of Tasmania
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3361
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