Policy Futures in Education
ISSN 1478-2103

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Volume 9 Number 2 2011


CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]


Andy Begg. Reflecting on Writing Autobiography, pages 145‑150

Leon Benade. Shaping the Responsible, Successful and Contributing Citizen of the Future: ‘values’ in the New Zealand Curriculum and its challenge to the development of ethical teacher professionality, pages 151‑162

Henry A. Giroux. The Disappearing Intellectual in the Age of Economic Darwinism, pages 163‑171

Ruyu Hung. Citizenship with/in or without Lifeworld? A Critical Review of the Contemporary Perspectives of Citizenship, pages 172‑182

Lisbeth Lindström. Leisure, Government and Governance: a Swedish perspective, pages 183‑192

Ulf Lundström & Ann-Sofie Holm. Market Competition in Upper Secondary Education: perceived effects on teachers’ work, pages 193‑205

Ilan Gur-ze’ev in conversation with Peter McLaren. New Anti-Semitism as the Meta-narrative of the New Progressive Thinking and Critical Pedagogy Today, pages 206‑247 doi:10.2304/pfie.2011.9.2.206 VIEW FULL TEXT

Michael A. Peters. The Future of Muslim Youth: interview with Linda Herrera, pages 248‑257 doi:10.2304/pfie.2011.9.2.248 VIEW FULL TEXT

David Small. Neo-liberalism in Crisis? Educational Dimensions, pages 258‑266

Trond Solhaug. New Public Management in Educational Reform in Norway, pages 267‑279

Richard Woolley. Controversial Issues: identifying the concerns and priorities of student teachers, pages 280‑291

Michael A. Peters. The Egyptian Revolution 2011, pages 292‑295 doi:10.2304/pfie.2011.9.2.292 VIEW FULL TEXT

Henry A. Giroux. Racialised Memories and Class Identities: thinking about Glenn Beck’s and Rush Limbaugh’s America, pages 296‑302 doi:10.2304/pfie.2011.9.2.296 VIEW FULL TEXT

Out of the Frame: the struggle for academic freedom in Israel (Ilan Pappe), reviewed by Keith Hammond, pages 303‑306 doi:10.2304/pfie.2011.9.2.303 VIEW FULL TEXT

Reflecting on Writing Autobiography



The following reflections relate to the reasons for and an approach to an autobiographic task, the notions that underpin it, and some thoughts about the quality and value of such a project. The focus was on the ways one views curriculum change over time; and the intention was to provide an example that others may sense as either familiar or at least reasonable. The task began without data in the form of diaries or similar records, thus the first step was to build up a time line with remembered incidents to highlight themes that might be important. From this a selection of themes emerged. The themes, incidents, reflections on them, and relevant literature read at the same time, formed the basis of the autobiography. Notions of complexity, and of plateaus, mini-plateaus, and connecting rhizomes all influenced the structure of the work. The purposes for undertaking the task included: understanding self, enriching understanding of self and others, sharing experiences, and exploring new possibilities and connections. With these purposes to the fore, the quality criteria were not usefulness, reliability, validity, authenticity, or trustworthiness – what was sought was resonance. Overall, the autobiography was seen as having a nomadic nature, an emergent rather than a planned mission, and hopefully it will lead to others seeing new alternatives in their work.


Shaping the Responsible, Successful and Contributing Citizen of the Future: ‘values’ in the New Zealand Curriculum and its challenge to the development of ethical teacher professionality



The revised New Zealand Curriculum became mandatory for use in New Zealand schools in February 2010. The ongoing reform agenda in education in New Zealand since 1989 and elsewhere internationally has had corrosive effects on teacher professionality. State-driven neo-liberal policy and education reforms are deeply damaging to the mental and moral conceptions teachers have of their work. This article contemplates one aspect of The New Zealand Curriculum – its focus on values – and the way it challenges the development of ethical teacher professionality. It also considers the prospect of reclaiming some of that lost moral ground through critical implementation of the 2007 New Zealand Curriculum, a claim that rests on an argument that this policy breaks with neo-liberal reform by its identification with third way political ideology.


The Disappearing Intellectual in the Age of Economic Darwinism



Anti-intellectualism and political illiteracy are sweeping across the American media and cultural landscape, giving rise to discourses that are unabashedly nativist, racist, and reactionary. Populist sentiments drive the rabid individualism and anti-government rhetoric of right-wing groups such as the Tea Party movement. Underlying these sentiments is not simply religious or libertarian ideology, but an insidious neoliberal, pro-corporate agenda that supports deregulated capitalism and the demise of the social state. As anti-intellectualism spreads in the media and political spheres, Americans increasingly accept as a principle of governance the reality of living in a Darwinist, survival-of-the-fittest world. If democracy is going to have a future in the United States, critical education and universities as democratic public spheres need to be defended and expanded in order to resist a growing wave of anti-intellectualism that heralds the disappearance of the critical intellectual, the depoliticization and reduction of civic responsibility to banal acts of production and consumption, and the rise of the punishing state and a culture of cruelty that abandon racial minorities, the unemployed, sick, elderly and poor to lives of violence, hardship, despair, and insecurity.


Citizenship with/in or without Lifeworld? A Critical Review of the Contemporary Perspectives of Citizenship



This article aims to propose the idea of citizenship with/in lifeworld. The author argues that most approaches to the conception of citizenship fail to pay fair attention to and include differences at the individual level. By exploring the meaning of the mainstream conceptions of citizenship, this article identifies the implied deficits as homogenisation and disembodiment. Homogenised and disembodied citizenship is ‘citizenship without lifeworld’. Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of body, this article suggests that the understanding of citizenship cannot be separated from lifeworld. The notion of citizenship with/in lifeworld brings more potential for imagining a civic society welcoming differences.


Leisure, Government and Governance: a Swedish perspective



The leisure sector has witnessed a tremendous expansion since 1960. The purpose of this article is to analyse the decisions and goals of Swedish government policy during the period 1962 to 2005. The empirical analysis covers government Propositions and governmental investigations. The fields covered are sports, culture, exercise, tourism and recreation. The article concludes that during the last ten years the private sector, led by companies, economic associations and foundations, has expanded its involvement in the leisure sector. Whereas the state used to control all parts of the leisure value chain, it is now possible to distinguish between those who produce, arrange and finance leisure services.


Market Competition in Upper Secondary Education: perceived effects on teachers’ work



The development and expansion of market solutions is one of the most important changes in Swedish education in the last 30 years. The aim of the article is to describe and analyse how students and staff in upper secondary schools perceive the impact of market competition on teachers’ work. Three groups of actors in two Swedish regions were interviewed: students, teachers and principals. The interviews were carried out at eight schools in five municipalities, at both public and independent schools. The results show that competition relations are more complex than is often assumed. Intensification of teachers’ work is a common theme in the interviews. Traditional professional values and identities are challenged by the market competition and a market-oriented teacher is shaped – whether the teachers like it or not. The extension of teachers’ tasks is increasingly about marketing. A new type of service-minded and flexible teacher is created. Regarding the effects of competition on teacher performance, the results are contradictory. The quality discourse is problematised as there is no evident link between winners in the school competition and the quality of teaching and student outcomes. The Swedish case is interesting in the international literature as an example of a rapidly growing upper secondary school market which is closer to the logic of the market than many other nations’ school systems.


Neo-liberalism in Crisis? Educational Dimensions



Until the global financial crisis, neo-liberalism had appeared invincible. This article examines the global rise of neo-liberalism and its impact on education, particularly its treatment of the social democratic ideal of equality. Drawing on examples from education and other socio-political factors, it considers whether the financial crisis is putting neo-liberalism’s dominant position at threat. It argues that despite the existence of some elements of a crisis in neo-liberalism, the conditions do not exist for the changes of the magnitude of those that emerged either at the time of the birth of social democracy or when neo-liberalism replaced it.


New Public Management in Educational Reform in Norway



The article focuses on the similarities and differences in using new public management (NPM) administrative arrangements in educational policy as they have been presented in the educational reform process carried out this millennium by two governments in Norway: the Centre–Conservative government and the current Red–Green coalition government. First, key elements in the reform process are identified. The methods applied are selective studies of documents and speeches by policy actors (ministers), and an examination of the implemented policy. Personal communication with the Ministry of Education’s Communication Centre and the Norwegian Directorate of Education and Training has provided some additional information. The findings are that there is an overall consensus on the primacy of economic values (at the level of ideas), management by output control, explicit standards, a test system (implemented at the policy level) and an accountability system (implemented at the policy level). Consensus between the two governments on these new institutional arrangements in education seems to be the major trend. However, disagreements over new free/private schools and markets in education are important. It is concluded that there are two versions of NPM policies present – a liberal one advocated by the Centre–Conservative government and a communitarian version advocated by the Red–Green government – and that the major consensus trend between the governments may imply steps towards an ideological hegemony of ideas related to the NPM tradition.


Controversial Issues: identifying the concerns and priorities of student teachers



The theoretical framework of this article considers the significant place of education in the socialisation and enculturation of children. This requires that student teachers develop critical pedagogies as a means of promoting equity, pupil voice and democratic structures in schools. Key to this is Cole’s concept of ‘isms’ and ‘phobias’, and the need to prepare student teachers to address them, and to evaluate both formal and hidden curricula. This article outlines the findings of a small-scale study that explored student teachers’ views on elements of issues-based education, the content of their training courses, and their personal priorities and apprehensions. It involved student teachers in eight universities in England during 2008‑09. This article outlines the full range of responses to the survey and students’ reasons for their priorities. The findings provide a context for providers of initial teacher education to consider the content and focus of their programmes.


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