The managerial approach to education

Freddie deBoer attempts to explicitly spell out the prevailing philosophy of education in our culture. He calls it “the educational philosophy of managerialism, which is the truly dominant ideology of our times.” He begins:

1. All students regardless of context have essentially the same prerequisite ability to meet arbitrary performance benchmarks in all educational tasks. The persistence of variation in academic outcomes is the result of pathology, whether systemic (bad schools, bad teachers) or individual (bad work ethic, lack of grit, refusal to delay gratification).

2. Academic outcomes are permanently and universally plastic; that is, no matter where they are currently, any given student or group of students can be moved to any rank or performance benchmark in any given academic ranking or task.

3. As there is limited or no ability to affect parents and parenting through policy, parents and parenting are not to be discussed in consideration of academic outcomes.

I think it’s a very perceptive description.


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