Retooling the Mind Factory: Education in a Lean State

By Alan Sears

© 2003

Alan Sears examines education reform in relation to a broad process of cultural and economic change. His book makes the case that education reform is one aspect of a broad-ranging neo-liberal agenda that aims to push the market deeper into every aspect of our lives by eliminating or shrinking non-market alternatives. The author begins by showing that advocates of education reform have had to make the case that the current system is not working. This sets the ground for an examination of the so-called 'Common Sense Revolution,' a claim that drastic change was required to redesign government policies to fit a changing world. Lean production methods are a crucial component of this changing world, and broader social and cultural change is now required to consolidate the emerging order built on the spread of these methods. Education reform is designed to recast the relations of citizenship, contributing to the cultural and social change promoted through the social policy of the lean state.

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  • Division: Higher Education
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000234

  • PUBLISHED MAY 2003

    From: $25.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

    ISBN 9781551930442
  • PUBLISHED MAY 2003
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Quick Overview

Alan Sears examines education reform in relation to a broad process of cultural and economic change.

Retooling the Mind Factory: Education in a Lean State

By Alan Sears

© 2003

Alan Sears examines education reform in relation to a broad process of cultural and economic change. His book makes the case that education reform is one aspect of a broad-ranging neo-liberal agenda that aims to push the market deeper into every aspect of our lives by eliminating or shrinking non-market alternatives. The author begins by showing that advocates of education reform have had to make the case that the current system is not working. This sets the ground for an examination of the so-called 'Common Sense Revolution,' a claim that drastic change was required to redesign government policies to fit a changing world. Lean production methods are a crucial component of this changing world, and broader social and cultural change is now required to consolidate the emerging order built on the spread of these methods. Education reform is designed to recast the relations of citizenship, contributing to the cultural and social change promoted through the social policy of the lean state.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Higher Education
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "Highly readable, well-argued, timely, covering issues of substanital public and academic interest... The analysis provides an important antidote to conventional discourses on education, at the same time that it provides connections with significant bodies of critical literature.


    Terry Wotherspoon, University of Saskatchewan
  • Author Information

    Alan Sears is Professor of Sociology at Ryerson University. He is the author of The New Left: A History of the Future (2014) and co-author with James Cairns of The Democratic Imagination: Envisioning Popular Power in the Twenty-First Century (2012).
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Education in a Lean State

    "The System is Broken": Legitimizing Education Change

    A Revolution in Common Sense

    Cultural Revolution and Citizenship

    Social Policy of the Lean State

    Education Reform for a Lean World

    The Critique of Liberal Education

    Theoretical Foundations

    Method of Historical Sociology

    Notes

    Chapter 1: The Embrace of the State

    Entering the State

    Education Before the Welfare State

    The Broad Welfare State and Educational Expansion

    Elementary Schools: Engaging the Individual

    Secondary Schools: There's a Place for Us

    Post-Secondary Education: Increasing Access

    Access to Universities

    A New Point of Access: Colleges and Polytechnics

    The End of Growth?

    Notes

    Chapter 2: Education for an Information Age?

    Skills for the Information Age?

    Skills and Lean Production

    New Kinds of Problem-solving?

    Standards Not Skills

    Streaming and Labour Market Polarization

    The Ideology of Training

    Lean Discipline

    The Vocationalist Ethos

    Skills Planning in a 'Free' Market

    Undermining the Culture of Citizenship

    Developing a Market Orientation

    Notes

    Chapter 3: Education for the Nation

    Educational Optimism and the Broad Welfare State

    Seeing Like a State?

    Making National Culture

    Science and National Culture

    Culture in a Lean State

    The Cultural Industries After National Culture

    Science After History?

    Innovation Culture

    Science as Innovation Culture

    The Culture of Entrepreneurship

    Conclusion

    Notes

    Chapter 4: Education, Citizenship and Inequality

    Introduction: Education for Equity?

    W.E.B. Du Bois on Education for Freedom

    Education and the Contradictions of Citizenship

    Equity and Education Reform

    Education and Racialization

    Official Multiculturalism: The Highest Stage of Liberalism

    Post-Liberal Education: Standards and Racialization

    Notes

    Chapter 5: Education: Gender and Sexuality

    Education and Gender Equity

    Gender in a Lean World

    Gender and the Broad Welfare State

    Masculinity in Mass Production

    Domestic Femininity

    Childhood and School in the Welfare State

    Shifting Gender Relations

    Gender and Post-Liberal Education

    A Note of Schooling for Sexuality

    Notes

    Chapter 6: Children of the Market

    Childhood in a Lean World

    Continuous Improvement

    Inequality and Polarization

    Fear the Children

    The Market Orientation

    Closing Extra-Economic Space

    Commodifying Education Space

    Teaching Enterprise Culture

    Knowledge as a Commodity

    Market Mechanisms in Education

    Towards Lean Education

    Notes

    Chapter 7: Learning Freedom

    Fighting Back

    Teachers on the Front Line

    Teacher-bashing and Education Reform

    Mobilizing Against the Harris Agenda

    Fightbacks by Other Education Workers, High School Students and Parents

    Fightbacks in the Post-Secondary Sector

    Towards Education for Freedom

    Brecht on Teaching and Learning

    Mind and Body

    Making the Familiar Strange

    Art and Science Together

    Social Movements and Ways of Knowing

    Is Brecht Useful?

    Active Learning for a Change

    Notes

    Bibliography

    Index