Author: Meyenn, Bob, Parker, Judith
Type of paper: Abstract refereed
In our previous paper, Education is not a hamburger (Meyenn and Parker, 1991) we argued that changes to the organisation and management of education, embedded as they are in the theoretical framework of economic rationalism and corporate managerialism and carried by the metaphors of industry and business, have a significant impact on the practice of education in schools and classrooms. In shifting the focus to education as a commodity and emphasising productivity, quality control, inputs and value added, for example, issues of social justice and equity and education as an intrinsic good are marginalised in current debates about the aims and purposes of education. Critics of the paper, however, raised questions about the real impact of these ideological shifts. In essence, their argument was that change remains at the level of rhetoric: whilst the metaphors of the discourse may change, the practice of education is resistant. This present paper attempts to investigate the real impact of these ideological shifts through a series of interviews and discussions with educators at various levels of the education bureaucracy. It also attempts to site the research within the theoretical framework of the relationship between state power and individual autonomy.