Some ‘get it’ more than others: cultivating a co-operative ethos in uncertain times (FORUM 2)
Author: GAIL DAVIDGE
This article seeks to explore the dilemmas that schools and their members encounter whilst striving to establish a co-operative culture within an educational landscape contoured by decades of neo-liberal policy ‘reform’. In order to (re)consider the construction of democratic subjectivity within contemporary educational discourse, the author has drawn upon ethnographic research recently undertaken in a number of co-operative schools in the North-West of England. Within the article she considers the subjective impacts of co-operative practices in education on the sense of wellbeing and agency of teachers, parents and children, and reflects upon how various identity positions and power relationships are enacted and interpreted within this educational milieu. The article concludes with a critical consideration of the tensions that arise for schools and their members as they endeavour to reconcile the competing diametric demands of co-operation and competition within this nascent terrain of public education.