The Political Economies of Radical Education (FORUM 3)

Author: JOHN MORGAN

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Publication date: September 1, 2012

JOHN MORGAN

The aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 has created space for discussion for alternative arrangements of economy and society. In education terms, there has been a flowering of texts which propose radical changes in educational systems. This article briefly discusses three examples (Fielding & Moss, Radical Education and the Common School; Facer, Learning Futures; and Woods, Transforming Education Policy). Based on a reading of Dale’s (1979) discussion of how 1960s and 1970s ‘progressive education’ were limited by wider political economic structures, the article suggests that, at the present time, the ‘new spirit of capitalism’ allows for and even welcomes particular forms of progressive and even ‘radical’ change, based on ideas around participation, innovation, and flexibility. The article concludes with a set of questions to ask of schools which seek to engage in ‘really radical practice’.

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