Marketisation of Education Analysis
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Published: Fri, 23 Jun 2017
Marketization of education refers to privatization of the education industry in the process of providing educative services. Economic advantage is the main driving force for the emergence of this style of education. An instance involves the period 1998, where the government published a report comparing the GCSE and Standard Assessment Tests of Schools giving parents a choice between different competing schools (Bates, 2011; Friedman, 2003).
This meant that Schools performing well attracted high number of parents, resulting to increased revenues from fees. In analyzing this aspect of education, my key concern is if this process meets the objective of providing the best educative services, and an equal opportunity for students.
To answer this question, we need to identify and analyze the concerns of this aspect of the education system, and inclusion is economic revolution. Economic revolution came as a result of industrial revolution in Europe, and it brought changes in the systems of governance making economic gains an issue in evolution of education.
Friedman (2003) in his analysis of Marketization of education agrees with this notion. He argues that the evolution of this style of education is as a result of the liberalization of the structures of government including economic structures (Friedman, 2003). Liberalism is an aspect of governance which Karl Marx, many centuries ago predicted will limit the interference of government in the provision of education services.
The concepts of economics as a motivator to marketization of education are highly criticized by Lauder (2006). In Lauderââ‚¬â„¢s analysis, he argues that economic factors have replaced the learning aspects of education to more material oriented learning processes, whereby schools concentrate on how they can achieve customer satisfaction as opposed to impartation of knowledge and skills (Lauder, 2006).
This happened because of decentralization of the structures of government, and less regulation of the education system due to liberalization of the economy where organizations are allowed to offer services without regulation from the government (Dewey, 1998).
Lauder further argues that marketization of education arose due to the emergence of the class system. Parents from rich backgrounds saw the need of taking their children to special schools, because they offered quality education than state schools (Lauder et al, 1999).
This aspect caused rift between the rich and the poor in the educative process in terms of acquisition of knowledge. Bates et al (2011) and Kishan (2008) observe that parents with low income struggle to take their children to state schools, and this accelerates the process of social segregation.
In socialist states, education is controlled by the government and it develops school curriculums which are strictly followed. This is as opposed to the liberalized states such as America and Britain.
The European Research institute of education conducted a research on marketization of education in Europe. They found that the state had lost its ability to regulate the education system in Europe (Kishan, 2008). This proves that governance and politics are the main motivators of this approach to education, and not economics.
Another aspect of marketization of education is the changing needs of the society that the education system needed to address. This issue is vague in its description, because education is age old, and issues affecting the society are the same.
Lauder (2006) agrees with this notion and notes that the education system concerns itself with impartation of skills necessary for an individual to survive in the world. This was the objectives of the education system in the former centuries, the needs of the society is always the same, but how to solve such needs differ.
The main needs of the society are survival in a fierce competitive environment, and an education system that offers mechanisms and skills to survive in such an environment is welcome. Government schools also offer such skills and those who argue that this style of education emerged due to changes in the needs of the populace are misguided.
The schooling system has evolved to an extent that business organizations make a commercial presence in schools, and this is evidenced by the commercial advertisements on teaching materials. On this notion, educative services are seen as a business opportunity.
To Friedman, marketization of education arose due to the need of allowing free flow of education. Friedman notes that the combination of marketization, liberalization and privatization in the education sector ensures that the development prosperity and cooperation is achieved in the world, because information is shared freely.
Without marketization of education, Friedman argues that government institutions can interfere with the process of free flow of information (Friedman, 2003; Bates, 2011). Lauder (2006), argues against this system of education and maintains that marketization of education is a replacement of instructive thoughts to economic thoughts.
He argues that instead of preparing students for social and personal development, the education system concerns itself with aspects of client satisfaction, cost effectiveness and competitiveness. Bridgehouse (2011) asserts that marketization of education has resulted into the neglect of children with special needs for schools and focuses on how to minimize costs (p.32). This is because schools aim at profit making and see the need of hiring specialized staff as costly.
In conclusion, Marketization of education is the emerging trend of education system in the world but it does not provide equity in the provision of educative services. The poor are disadvantaged and due to lack of economic might, their children do not have an access to high cost schools which have superior teaching resources as compared to state schools where majority of economically disadvantaged parents take their children.
This inequality in the education system develops the class system brought about by industrial revolution. Schools do not concentrate in imparting skills to their students instead; they are concerned with profit making and client satisfaction at the expense of offering knowledge. Government should regulate the education system and ensure quality education is offered at all levels of the education system by state and private schools.
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Friedman, M. I. (2003). Educators’ handbook on effective testing. Columbia, SC:
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Kishan, N. R. (2008). Privatization of education. New Delhi: A.P.H Pub. Corp..
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Lauder, H and Hughes, D ., eds ( 1999). Trading in Futures, Why Markets in Education
Donââ‚¬â„¢t Work.Buckingham: Open University Press.
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Many learning institutions have introduced the concept of learning through experience, referred to as experiential learning. This process of learning can either be dramatic or open and it was advocated by scholars such as Aristotle and Kolb. To Aristotle, learning to do things through experience is better than learning through teaching (Curren, 2000).
While, Kolb defines experiential learning as a process that involves real life experience in acquisition of knowledge and skills, its elements are experience, observation, reflection and experimentation (Ozmon and Craver, 1986). In Experiential learning, the question is, does it require the guidance of a practioner for learning to take place? Practioners are always necessary in any process of learning, and experiential learning is not an exception.
To acquire new knowledge from experience, an individual has to have problem solving skills which enable him/ her to make decisions. This skill is essential to enable a student to apply skills gained through the experience undergone while learning (Maxwell, 2011). Experience as an issue in experiential learning is not the main factor that a student can acquire knowledge from.
To Aristotle, passing through experience, acquiring skills and inability to implement the skills gained is not the objective of education. By learning, a student has to acquire the ability to apply skills gained in real life situations and challenges (Curren, 2000). The applicative part of skill acquisition is the problem and for a student to implement a skill, he/she needs guidance and this normally comes from the practitioners.
The idea of learning through experience has a long historical perspective and it is John Dewey who proposed it. Dewey (1998) states that experience is an integral part of learning; and practitioners play an important role in this process, to ensure students are able to apply knowledge gained from an experience in different perspectives of their lives.
This notion of Dewey, clearly agrees with my views of experimentation as an aspect of experiential learning. It is necessary for practitioners to introduce the curriculum when students are taken to the outdoor learning with supervision from educators; this would allow students to learn from a series of real life adventures.
Dewey (1998) in his analysis of experiential learning observes that reflection must occur in this process. Students must engage actively in the learning, and reflect on the experience to grasp the new ideas instilled. Its only after effective reflection that skills are acquired.
Reflection as an issue of experiential learning is not beneficial without supervision. There are many aspects of reflective tendencies during the process of experiential learning. However, it has some drawback (Palmer and Cooper, 2003); student will not think deeper into the meaning of the experience passed as he/she might take it as play attained.
It might involve lack of concentration from the student. According to Kolb, learning is a multidimensional process (Palmer and Cooper, 2003) and it involves four stages that are to experience, observe, reflect and experiment. Kolb advocates for supervision of a learner during the process of reflection.
After a period of time, learning will have taken place as students had gained an educative experience with useful guides given from the practitioners. The reason is that constantly, the student will reflect on the experience he/she has just gained and consider the advice given from the practitioners (Maxwell et al, 2011).This process of experiential learning requires a practitioner at all stage to facilitate studentââ‚¬â„¢s learning. Therefore practitioners play an important role and their input should not be neglected.
Experiential learning was formally recognized as a field of education in 1970s and a great achievement for advocators of experiential learning was made in 1977 when the association of experiential education was established (Palmer and Cooper, 2003). It is in the 20th Century that educating through experience has been appreciated as a vital foundation of the learning process and it was precipitated by the work of John Dewey in 1998.The ideas of experiential learning are relevant to the concepts of adult learning.
David Kolb (Palmer and Cooper, 2003) argue that experiential learning is a four stage process and he identifies Dewey as the main pioneer of this learning system. Kolb (Palmer and Cooper, 2003) discusses experience and reflection as issues in experiential learning. He gives an analysis of the steps of experiential learning which are experience; observation, reflection and experimentation.
To Kolb, experience and reflection are necessary for learning to take place but with guidance of a practitioner while to Dewey, the guidance of a practioner is not necessary (Dewey, 1998).However, Rousseau Palmer et al, 2003) state experiential learning is an important aspect of education and notes that education comes from nature, men and environmental surroundings thus everything plays an important role in the impartation of knowledge.
Rousseau argues a child obtains passivity by being taught and resent from punishment and therefore the best way for a child to learn is through experience which allows him to see the consequences of his actions. To Rousseau, experience coupled with tutorship is the best form of education since passivity in learning will be removed and therefore leaning becomes a process of mutual understanding and consent (Ozmon and Craver, 1986).
Experiential learning has been adopted in the curriculum in many schools across the country. The new curriculum emphasizes the importance of children learning through experience and thereby developing skills from out of class activities. It is used to denote various models and due to the differences of value and thoughts, educators develop curriculums and programs that fit their understanding of experiential learning.
To gain knowledge and skills in the process of experiential leaning, guidance given from practitioners to student is necessary. Practitioners must be trained in all aspects of education in order to be skillful in applying knowledge acquired through experiences in their practice.
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