neoliberalism in education

“Project: My Class”: Neoliberal Vision of the Teaching Profession

Author: Renata Wawrzyniak-Beszterda
Institution: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Year of publication: 2021
Source: Show
Pages: 167-183
DOI Address:
PDF: kie/134/kie13410.pdf

The subject of the article covers issues related to the presence of neoliberal educational messages in school practice. The study contains an analysis of the teacher’s narrative, the purpose of which was to identify and describe elements that fit into neoliberal assumptions of education. The reconstruction of everyday school life (micro level) enabled the manifestations of instrumentalisation of education, rivalry and competitive aspects in the teacher’s work and the practice of forming homo oeconomicus at school. Commodification of an individual in free market conditions is reflected in a profit-maximizing school, i.e., achieving high results in external examinations owing to an educational process organized effectively, and minimizing costs by, for example, selecting students and by eliminating the “maladjusted” from schools. In the text, I outline a portrait of a teacher functioning professionally, who builds his profession on the foundation of neoliberal assumptions about education. I analyze the teacher’s understanding of school education, which is present in the teacher’s narratives, as a space for a specific market game and competition, defining the effectiveness of school work by high level of students’ examination results and the original concept of working with a supervised class reduced to the implementation of a business project.

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