Why we should be worried about current educational reforms

Deans lecture series 2012

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About the lecture

Throughout the world, educational agendas based on privatisation and marketisation are being pushed, as are calls for a return to a romanticised and standardised view of common culture and curricula. At the same time, competitive testing and external control of teachers' work are increasingly evident.

These reforms are having major effects and can create even more inequalities. What can we learn from these kinds of policies? Why are they being accepted? Are there more critically democratic alternatives? Given the importance of education in our society, these questions are critical to ask and to answer.

About the speaker

Professor Michael Apple

Michael W. Apple is the John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and World Scholar and Distinguished Professor of Educational Policy Studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai. A former elementary and secondary school teacher and past president of a teachers’ union, he has worked with educational systems, governments, universities, and activist and dissident groups throughout the world to democratise educational research, policy and practice.

Professor Apple has written extensively on the politics of educational reform and on the relationship between culture and power. Among his recent books are Global Crises, Social Justice, and Education; Knowledge, Power, and Education: The Selected works of Michael W. Apple; and Can Education Change Society? His books and articles have won numerous awards and have been translated into many languages.

Professor Apple has been selected as one of the fifty most important educational scholars of the 20th Century. His books Ideology and Curriculum and Official Knowledge were also selected as two of the most significant books on education in the 20th Century. He has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Educational Research Association, the UCLA Medal for "Outstanding Academic Achievement," and a number of honorary doctorates by universities throughout the world.