“Education and the Market Model” (1991) by Prof John McMurtry with Comments and Discussions

ABSTRACT This paper analyses the underlying conflicts between the principles of education and the market. After identifying an international movement towards justifying excellence in education in terms of a goal external to education, namely “to compete effectively in the international marketplace”, the paper shows that: (i) this justification of education has been increasingly presupposed or prescribed by corporate, government and educational leaderships, and (ii) education as a social institution has been correspondingly subordinated to international market goals, including the language and self-conceptualization of educators themselves. The argument of the paper demonstrates that there are fundamental contradictions between the market and education models in terms of (1) Goals, (2) Motivations, (3) Methods and (4) Standards of Excellence. Counter-arguments to this analysis are presented, and replies are given. The article concludes that the long-term development of education and of civilization itself requires the autonomy of education from market command.

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