ERIC Number: EJ685760
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Education, Accountability, and the Ethical Demand: Can the Democratic Potential of Accountability Be Regained?
Biesta, Gert J. J.
Educational Theory, v54 n3 p233-250 Aug 2004
This paper analyzes the impact of the idea of accountability on education. It considers the kind of relationships that are promoted or produced by the culture of accountability, both in order to understand what kind of relationships are made possible and to understand what kind of relationships are made difficult, or even impossible, as a result of the accountability regime. The paper explores how the managerial uses of the idea of accountability have become pervasive in contemporary education and how this has changed relationships among students, parents, teachers, and the state. Ultimately, accountability erodes relationships of responsibility. Zygmunt Bauman's postmodern ethics is used to gain a detailed understanding of why it has become so much more difficult to develop relationships of responsibility under the accountability regime. Bauman's proposal that we should take responsibility for our responsibility also suggests a starting point from which the democratic potential of accountability might be regained.
Descriptors: Educational Responsibility, Ethics, Accountability, Postmodernism, Democratic Values, Democracy, Interpersonal Relationship
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
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