Fundació Jaume Bofill Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

Thinking about future challenges of education in Catalonia

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Why aren't schools companies?

About the speaker

Christian Laval

22/02/05 07.30 pm

Associate Researcher at the University of Paris X Member of the Fédération Syndicale Unitaire (FSU) Research Institute

Audio (in Spanish)

The current education policy dominating the world and, therefore, Europe obeys a dogmatic model that assimilates formal education and, increasingly, any educational activity into the production of "human capital" which user-clients subsequently look to make profitable in their professional activities. The starting up of an education market or, more often, quasi-market is seen as the only way of raising the efficiency of education systems. Christian Laval underlines some of the main effects of this neo-liberal inspired policy and shows that "efficiency" is not always the most obvious result either in terms of equal opportunities or of the intellectual and cultural development of individuals, but that it frequently becomes the exact opposite.

For the champions of humanist and democratic education, the distinction is not between the old bureaucratic state model and the new company model. In fact, another type of school is possible, but it depends on society and even on the civilisation that wants to create it. If the European society model continues to be that of the "business society", it will be rather difficult to invent a new humanist education on this narrow, limited basis. Refocusing European construction based on a large cultural project which has education as one of its pillars (the common culture society) is the aim that all champions of democratic education should establish.

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