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ERIC Number: EJ1171825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Aug
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-2004
Rethinking Economics and Education: Exponential Growth and Post-Growth Strategies
Irwin, Ruth
Educational Theory, v67 n4 p379-398 Aug 2017
Education is increasingly vocational and structured to serve the ongoing exponential increase in economic growth. Climate change is an outcome of these same economic values and praxes. Attempts to shift these values and our approach to technology are continually absorbed and overcome by the pressing motif of economic growth. In this article, Ruth Irwin uses Martin Heidegger's concept of the technological enframing of modernity to view economic growth. John Maynard Keynes's notion of economic growth (which he called the "multiplier effect") has impacted the pace of consumerism that now permeates every aspect of knowing about the world we live in. Irwin asks us to think through technological enframing anew by looking to an early mechanical Greek artifact, the Antikythera mechanism, which depicts a cyclical notion of time used by ancient cultures to define the rhythm of economic productivity. The earth-centric cosmos embodied by this mechanism helped the Mesopotamian economy stay within the parameters of the local ecology and demonstrates that cyclical economic growth may enable a civilization to maintain a steady state over time and survive for millennia. An earth-centric cosmology creates a different set of values, one that emphasizes the need to regulate the pace of consumerism rather than allowing it free rein "as by an Invisible Hand." The role of education in this exploration is twofold: first, it is a pivotal site for cultural exploration and transformation; and second, the expectations of the state strictly limit the forms education can take, so that as long as promoting economic growth defines state expectations, education will remain subservient to these values. If we aim to overcome climate change, Irwin concludes, we need to transform the expectations for education from society as well as from teachers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A