• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What effect has two decades of intensive state direction and government involvement had on education?

Designed for Education Studies students who have probably grown up in this context of government intervention, this book deconstructs accepted notions and provides readers with the resources to discuss critically the role of the governments in education and schooling. The book examines government policy in a series of key areas, such as the curriculum, market forces, educational inequality, and race issues. Throughout, it considers the political and economic factors in education policy, introducing some of the fundamental concepts required to analyze the ideologies of education and the state. The authors explore the role of education policy in the context of the general direction of government policy, politics, and the economy, making links with other policy areas such as health, social services, home affairs, and foreign policy. They also explain the nature of government policy in terms of a globalization and the knowledge economy.

Introduction: Education and the State
Introduction: Education and the state

Parent to child after his first day at school: How did you like school today?

Child: OK, but I'm not going any more.

Parent: Oh, yes you are!

We tend to take for granted the fact that children go to school. Some take to it immediately; others are less easily persuaded of the benefits of spending six hours a day away from home. Schooling is perhaps the most important way in which the state intervenes in the life of the family and the individual. Education does not have to depend on the state: it can happen in independent schools, at home, between friends and for individuals working alone, but since the end of the nineteenth century the state has ...

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