Globalization and the Neoliberal Imaginary of Educational Reform
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Most recent policies and programmes of educational reform have been framed, justified and promoted on a widely held belief that aligning educational policies and practices with the economic, political and cultural changes that globalization signifies is necessary. However, this signification has mostly been couched in neoliberal terms– the view that globalization is largely an economic phenomenon, in which markets play a fundamental role in reconfiguring the nature of social relations. So globally ubiquitous has this mode of thinking become that it can appropriately be referred to as a ‘social imaginary’. The neoliberal imaginary of globalization has re-cast the purposes and governance of education, viewing it in human capital terms while supporting individual self-interests in an increasingly competitive society. This paper suggests that the contemporary era demands new ways of interpreting global interconnectivity and interdependence beyond globalization’s economic possibilities, but also as underpinned by moral and intercultural concerns. Hence, the need to work towards global common goods is greater now than ever before, as a way of ensuring that the world does not continue to slide into everincreasing levels of inequalities, distrust and social conflict.