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Neoliberalism: A new common sense in education, some iconoclastic thesis

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Abstract:

The main argument of my analysis is that the emergence of neoliberalism in the late seventies or early eighties has dramatically altered the notion of common sense in education.

Generally speaking people invokes common sense denoting sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like. Common sense becomes ‘naturalized’ in the lives of people as something normal that we do or ought to do just to get by and/or prosper. Common sense is a generalized truth about something. It is the normal way to do things. Yet the idea of common sense is based in culturally shared understandings or values. That means that what is common sense for some people may not be common sense to others. Therefore, we ought to consider the notion of common sense as variable across cultures.

Common sense as a rhetorical device is different of course than common sense as a practical tool of transformation. Yet there is enough overlapping. In other terms, if one would begin to argue that a given common sense was substituted by another common sense, we need to define what the previous “New School” or progressive common sense was all about, and how the new neoliberal common sense came into being displacing the first one.

Perhaps there was never (or will never be) a complete social agreement on the aims, mission, and contributions of education to society. Despite this lack of educational consensus, I argue that the previous predominant common sense in the United States at least was connected with the experience of the New Deal and educational progressivism. It will be beyond the premises of this analysis to go into detail of what this common sense means, but in this keynote I will sketch some elements that are salient. Then, from a theoretical and meta-theoretical perspective, I will produce a systematic assessment of the impact of neoliberalism in education worldwide, This assessment will be done in the form of thesis to be demonstrated and that remain to be fully documented empirically.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485489_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Torres, Carlos. "Neoliberalism: A new common sense in education, some iconoclastic thesis" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485489_index.html>

APA Citation:

Torres, C. A. , 2011-05-01 "Neoliberalism: A new common sense in education, some iconoclastic thesis" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485489_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The main argument of my analysis is that the emergence of neoliberalism in the late seventies or early eighties has dramatically altered the notion of common sense in education.

Generally speaking people invokes common sense denoting sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like. Common sense becomes ‘naturalized’ in the lives of people as something normal that we do or ought to do just to get by and/or prosper. Common sense is a generalized truth about something. It is the normal way to do things. Yet the idea of common sense is based in culturally shared understandings or values. That means that what is common sense for some people may not be common sense to others. Therefore, we ought to consider the notion of common sense as variable across cultures.

Common sense as a rhetorical device is different of course than common sense as a practical tool of transformation. Yet there is enough overlapping. In other terms, if one would begin to argue that a given common sense was substituted by another common sense, we need to define what the previous “New School” or progressive common sense was all about, and how the new neoliberal common sense came into being displacing the first one.

Perhaps there was never (or will never be) a complete social agreement on the aims, mission, and contributions of education to society. Despite this lack of educational consensus, I argue that the previous predominant common sense in the United States at least was connected with the experience of the New Deal and educational progressivism. It will be beyond the premises of this analysis to go into detail of what this common sense means, but in this keynote I will sketch some elements that are salient. Then, from a theoretical and meta-theoretical perspective, I will produce a systematic assessment of the impact of neoliberalism in education worldwide, This assessment will be done in the form of thesis to be demonstrated and that remain to be fully documented empirically.


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