Developing a Marxian critique for educational change in an economy of uncertainty

Year: 2002

Author: Raduntz, Helen

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The intention of this paper is to clarify the nature and development of a contemporary Marxian critique as a practical tool for comprehending the dynamics underlying educational change in a rapidly changing and highly volatile global economy dominated by uncertainty.

In the past the study and development of the Marxian critique, which proved itself to be a powerful analytical method in the hands of Marx, has been the most neglected aspect of his work. It is therefore apposite in circumstances where marketisation is problematic for education's future to present an account of the aims and inner logic of the critique, its formulation by Marx specifically for his analysis of capital and its power and possibilities for understanding, for evaluating from the standpoint of human needs and development and for acting upon the current trends in education towards marketisation.

Such a critique challenges the mainstream, ahistorical ideology that claims there is no alternative to capitalism and the marketisation of education because it is a normative part of social progress to which we have to adapt. In historically critical terms this makes capitalism a closed market regulated economic system constituting a contradiction in relation to the educative human development project.