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ERIC Number: EJ889554
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
The Political Economy of Educational Innovation
Doughty, Howard A.; Meaghan, Diane E.; Barrett, Ralph V.
College Quarterly, v12 n2 Spr 2009
Throughout North America and the world, educators are awash in urgings and suggestions about how to change what they do and how they do it. "Challenges" and "crises" are identified and elaborated. Teachers are made to feel embarrassed if they are unaware of "cutting-edge technologies" and uniformed about profound demographic and attitudinal shifts among their "customers" and "clients." The result is an addition to novelty that poses problems of its own. Innovations in education must be understood and assessed in context. Instead of judging whether new educational theories and practices produce measurable improvements in the success of educational programs (higher achievement in learning, more efficient "curriculum delivery," lower attrition rates, and so on), it is first necessary to establish the material conditions under which education happens, the normative values it carries with it, and the social interests it serves. Like every other human project, education is not "value-free," but is inherently biased--philosophically, politically and economically. To undertake a thoughtful discussion of educational change requires a preliminary exploration of the political economy of education--an inquiry into the ways in which educational policies and applied pedagogy support larger general or special interests, and either uncritically support or critically interrogate deep patterns of social and cultural power and authority. The invitation to critical analysis is followed by a suggestion that education does not suffer from a lack of innovation, but from a failure to see and act upon the need for renovation.
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America