The paper argues that the tensions arising in education and education research between doing the public good and submitting to the demands of an increasingly market orientated education system, derive from the capitalist market economy's expansionary pressure as a means of resolving its endemic contradiction, namely, that its quest for private profit maximisation constantly undermines the public good on which that profit making depends. If this contention is accepted then educators/researchers are positioned at the juncture of a polar opposition between public good and private gain, a situation in flux which is filled with possibilities for and against the development of a socially responsive education provision. They are therefore well placed in practical terms to negotiate their way through the public/private divide. However, this is dependent on a critical research analysis that will enable them to make informed and practical judgements regarding their role in influencing educational change in a direction that will overcome the barrier that privatisation imposes on doing the public good in the sphere of education. It is the aim of this paper by means of a Marxian dialectical critique to make a contribution towards this project.