How Possible Is Socially Just Education under Neo-liberal Capitalism? Struggling against the Tide? (FORUM 3)




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Format: Article

Publication date: September 1, 2016


In 2012 the author wrote about what a socially just system would look like, and used the example of Finland Since then the already emergent aspects of neo-liberalism within Finnish education have grown, as privileged white parents increasingly demand privileged spaces within comprehensive schools for their children. There are radical spaces within education, but they, too, are usually the preserve of the privileged within society, and so cannot be equated with socially just spaces. What socially just education requires is that people from all sections of society commit, and hold fast, to a notion of ‘the common educational good’ that transcends individual or family self-interest. This is at a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to persuade those with the greatest power of choice in English society to see themselves as sharing the same common interests and purposes as those who are less privileged. Against this difficult context, this article argues that it is more important than ever to fight for socially just education.

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