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Schooling, productivity and the enterprising self: beyond market values

Down, B. (2009) Schooling, productivity and the enterprising self: beyond market values. Critical Studies in Education, 50 (1). pp. 51-64.

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This paper argues that under the influence of neoliberalism the role of schooling has been narrowly redefined as helping students to gain the knowledge and skills to 'get a job'. Drawing on the recent policy pronouncements of the new Rudd Labor Government in Australia, the paper examines how the advocates of human capital theory have effectively articulated the linkage between productivity, education and global competitiveness. The paper problematizes the key assumptions informing these policy discourses, namely, greater emphasis on vocational education and training and the creation of an enterprise culture, will lead to more high tech, high skilled and well paid jobs. The paper concludes by advocating an alternative approach to schooling based on the values of 'human sensibility' and social justice to help guide educational conversations beyond market values.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
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