Culture and the Political Economy of Schooling : What's Left for Education? book cover
1st Edition

Culture and the Political Economy of Schooling
What's Left for Education?

ISBN 9781138089297
Published September 4, 2018 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

Since the global financial crisis of 2007-08 the question of the aims of schooling have assumed greater importance. There has been no ‘return to normal’, yet young people are encouraged to ‘Keep calm and go to university’. Culture and the Political Economy of Schooling explores the possibilities for the emergence of a progressive agenda for schooling.

Culture and the Political Economy of Schooling provides educators and social scientists with the essential background required to understand changes in schooling since the Second World War. It introduces theories of the economic crisis, and explores their educational implications, before going on to provide accounts of how politics and culture have shaped debates about schooling. This cultural political economy approach is applied to issues such as social class, race, the brave new worlds of work, the dangerous rise of creative education, and the increasingly urgent question of inequality. The final parts of the book explore the educational challenges of the Anthropocene and the changing conceptions of knowledge in schools and finally consider alternatives to contemporary schooling.

The students in our schools today will face a future framed by the twin crises of economy and environment, prompting an urgent rethink of education. Written in an accessible and engaging manner, this book is an essential guide for thinking about the past, present and futures of education. It will be of great interest to researchers and graduate students of education studies, curriculum studies, sociology of education, education politics and education policy.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Education and the crisis

Chapter Two: The political economy of schooling

Chapter Three: The uses of cultural schooling in English schooling

Chapter Four: What about the working class?

Chapter Five: How English is it?

Chapter Six: Schooling and the Brave New Worlds of work

Chapter Seven: The dangerous rise of the creative educational class

Chapter Eight: Rethinking educational inequality with Thomas Piketty and friends

Chapter Nine: What every educator needs to know about the environment

Chapter 10: Components of a national curriculum

Conclusion: What’s left for education?

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John Morgan is Professor of Education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Education, culture, economy – and the environment! A bracing, thoroughly engaged account of public schooling, drawing explicitly on both cultural studies and political economy, this book takes us back to the future and opens up rich possibilities for rethinking education in and for the Anthropocene, as a ‘socialist-realist’ project. Highly recommended.

Emeritus Professor Bill Green, Charles Sturt University, Australia

HG Wells famously observed that the story of humankind resembles "more and more a race between education and catastrophe". John Morgan’s brilliant book opens up this proposition with a confident and very engaging voice. He presents a clear explanation of why and how the idea of education has been narrowed and (to his occasional disgruntlement) the failure of researchers and practitioners alike to recognise the consequences. Whilst the book understandably stops short of providing a radical blueprint for change, John Morgan’s scholarship enables a deeper understanding of the role of schools in contemporary society, and what needs to be addressed to avert catastrophe.

David Lambert, Professor of Geography Education at UCL Institute of Education