23 SES 09 B, Education as Applied Politics: Unlocking Ideologies of Competition and Creating Alternative Futures in Education and Communities (Part 1)
Symposium: to be continued in 23 SES 09 B
There is a radical education reform project taking place in England, a programme of steady privatisation and marketization in which philanthropy and business are taking over the responsibility of education provision (Ball, 2013). As legal frameworks are established for all schools to become independent of the support and control of local democratic authority (Education Act 2011) there is a growing number of schools which are opting to affiliate themselves with the co-operative movement and thus to reposition themselves democratically. Woodin and Fielding (2013) suggest that this burgeoning movement is a reactive response to education reform, they describe “a mounting conviction” (p. 180) that an alternative version of change is emerging and becoming possible within the system. This paper draws upon the political philosophy of Spinoza to explore the notion of conviction by tracing it through his exploration of desire and imagination as a transformative force in collective power. The research considers how cooperation, as a social movement, seeks to resist and change the prevailing forces in education and asks if these politics might be a significant factor for those schools that are affiliating with the movement.
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