Neoliberalism in Crisis? Current Educational Issues and Responses

I’m looking forward to attending this on Wednesday, especially the morning sessions by Nick Grant and Stephen Ball…

Via Glenn Rikowski:


Neoliberalism in Crisis? Current Educational Issues and Responses

Wednesday January 22nd 2014, 10–4pm, University of East London, Stratford Campus, CASS School of Education, ED2.04

Convenors: Tony Green and Alpesh Maisuria

10.00-10.15: Registration and Introduction

10.15-11.20: Nick GrantMichael Gove: Doing The Right Thing: Is Michael Gove mad or bad?

He is certainly despised as Secretary of State by most of those public servants delivering state education. But is this simply because his policies do not fit empirically with what professionals know works in practice? Is Gove simply mad, blind to what he is doing to children and adults in schools, colleges and universities? If so does he simply need a reality check classroom job-swap for a period?

Alternatively, is Gove forcing through a wholesale attack on education for reasons which are consistent with a hostile free-market politics, and which are deliberately painful for professionals. Is Gove doing the right thing for his class interests?

This presentation will elaborate on why and how Gove represents an unavoidable systemic challenge, and some thoughts on how best to respond.

11.20-12.25: Stephen BallPhilanthropy, Education Policy and Democratic Deficit

The paper will draw on research which focuses on the participation of philanthropic and business organisations in new arenas of education policy. It will argue that policy is increasing opaque, unaccountable and elusive new actors use there financial and moral resources to ‘make’ policy in new ‘globalising microspaces’. This involves shifts in the methods of policy – what Bill Gates calls ‘social capitalism’ – and changes in the form and modalities of the State.

12.25-1.30: Lunch Break

1.30-2.35: Tristan McCowanAlternative universities in Latin America: is radical higher education possible within the mainstream system?

In recent years a number of experimental university courses and institutions have been established in Latin America. These experiences have aimed to address the injustices of access to higher education, but also to transform conceptions of knowledge and engage more strongly with local communities and social movements. The Landless Movement in Brazil, for example, has established its own teacher education programmes and a variety of other HE courses in partnership with public universities, and since 2008 the Brazilian Federal Government itself has established four alternative universities. These institutions, however, operate within the mainstream system and are thereby constrained by dominant forms of institutional structure and accreditation. On the other hand, other initiatives – such as Unitierra in Mexico – are unconstrained by conventional institutional forms but face other challenges of funding and recognition. This paper reflects on the dilemmas faced by radical educators around the world of whether to act within or outside the mainstream.

2.35-3.40: Spyros ThemelisBetween neo-fascism and poverty: education and hope in Greece in times of debtocracy

This paper examines the social, political and economic situation of Greece after the first bailout package it received in May 2010. It links the rise of neo-fascist politics with the deterioration in socio-economic conditions for the majority of the Greek people and suggests that both these processes are approached as aspects of the attendant restructuring of class relations. Contrary to the organised politics of fear and the pathologisation of the Greek situation attempted by dominant political agents, the paper identifies some elements of hope. Specifically, it focuses on the role of education in resisting the hegemonic transformations imposed onto Greece and discusses the possibilities for the creation of an alternative future based on prefigurative politics of emancipation and liberation from the current impasse of neoliberal capitalism.

3.40-4.00: Plenary, Review and Closure.

The seminar is free and open to all but places are limited.

RSVP Veronica Burton:

The UEL is a 15minute stroll from Stratford Station. Here is a map and transport details:

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