Retooling the Mind Factory: Education in a Lean State
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.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 288 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
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 InformationAlan 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
Method of Historical Sociology
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?
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
The Vocationalist Ethos
Skills Planning in a 'Free' Market
Undermining the Culture of Citizenship
Developing a Market Orientation
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?
Science as Innovation Culture
The Culture of Entrepreneurship
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
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
Childhood and School in the Welfare State
Shifting Gender Relations
Gender and Post-Liberal Education
A Note of Schooling for Sexuality
Chapter 6: Children of the Market
Childhood in a Lean World
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
Chapter 7: Learning Freedom
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
Subjects and Courses