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ERIC Number: EJ1158109
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Under the Wheels of a Juggernaut: Education Programs in the Midst of a Moral Quandary
Hurley, Angela; McCloud, Jennifer
Philosophical Studies in Education, v48 p30-44 2017
The authors begin this essay by sharing excerpts taken from two events at their own liberal arts institution. One was from an opening convocation in 1967, and the second from an accreditation visit in 2014. The two episodes have been presented in order to illustrate the major differences in the ways university experiences have been thought about in the past compared to the neoliberal manner in which they are now understood. From reading the two provided scenarios, it becomes difficult to deny that the language related to higher education and the rationale given for attending college has changed since 1967. Language and rhetoric have moved away from having, at least at times, those who "worried" about the role of the academy in such things as the well-being of the community and the development of thinking individuals, or of viewing the university as a site where contested ideas could be verbalized, to now mainly stressing job acquisition and accountability. In this change, corporate language carries the message and curricular cuts narrow educational conversation and possibilities. These changes result, from what is identified in this essay as the neoliberal influence on schooling philosophy and practices. The authors warn that neoliberal language and policies build upon themselves, constantly begetting stricter policies and calls for more data and standards, thus forming a destructive force, a juggernaut, that pushes out other ways of thinking about and forming policies for educational institutions. They assert that this way of life that values free-market economics, capitalism, corporate language, wealth, surveillance, competitiveness, and rugged individualism, avoids participatory processes and a sense of a civic collective that works for a better life for all, not just a privileged few. They go on to point out that this neoliberal juggernaut, utilizing and fueling on corporate language, standardization, and auditing measures, has slowly gained steam over the past twenty years, commencing with the accountability movement in P-12 schools. The article further argues that in the path of this juggernaut, faculty in education programs are in the throes of a moral quandary, one that forces them to not only recognize the faults of the audit, accountability/accountancy culture that now shapes their discipline but also one that places before education faculty the importance of the choices they now must make in designing instruction and interacting with their students.
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A