23 SES 09 A, Education Privatization
The involvement of private interests in public comprehensive education is not new, but the emergence of a ‘Global Education Industry’ (GEI) “is qualitatively distinct from anything that preceded it” (Verger, Lubienski & Steiner-Khamsi 2016, 6). The impact of private sector actors becoming involved in public compulsory education, an area previously regarded as autonomous vis-à-vis the economy, has emerged as a pressing question in international education policy research (e.g. Ball, 2012, Ball & Youdell 2007, Burch 2009; Lubienski 2016). The most urgent concern and one being widely sought after methodologically is how private actors, such as multi-national corporations and (often related) philanthropic organisations, shape national education policy agendas and find new market niches, such as selling education improvement (e.g., Olmedo et al. 2013; Hogan 2014; Mundy et al. 2016). As well, key international policy making bodies such as the OECD are beginning to facilitate access of education industry to national policy-making. For the OECD, “[t]he time is ripe to establish a dialogue between ministers of education and the global education industry” and in the summit held in Helsinki “[e]ducation ministers and industry leaders call for new policies to improve teaching and learning” (OECD 2015).
The proposed symposium will discuss private interests and actors in compulsory schooling in two Nordic countries (Finland and Sweden) and two Pacific Rim Countries (New Zealand and Chile). Finland, Sweden and New Zealand have historically strong public education systems while Chile has more history of transforming public basic education system into a market. In Finland research on private actors in its compulsory education system is scarce and there has been less pressure towards privatisation than in other countries, but there are some privatisation developments that are not widely recognised. Despite their social-democratic welfare state histories and a tradition of strong state governance of education aimed at social justice and equality, Sweden and New Zealand have adopted privatisation policies to varying extents since the early 1990s. The case of Chile saw privatisation developments as one of the first countries to apply market schema with public and private providers competing for tax funds.
The papers in the symposium will identify and characterise private actors in compulsory schooling in each of these four national contexts. Across the four papers, this will involve analysis of registers and databases of companies and charities; internet searches of new and old media, government policy documents, observations of national events and activities for agenda setting and survey data. Prior academic work will also be considered. Identifying and characterising private actors in compulsory schooling is a challenge in itself but it is an important first step towards considering other relevant concerns about privatisation in education. These include 1. how national contexts have made a difference to the trajectories of privatisation, and 2. whether privatisation in welfare state economies illustrates a different, more subtle, pattern of influence/involvement of private actors in public policy-making when compared to a policy setting such as Chile. The symposium will particularly contribute to current debates about the GEI. As Gita Steiner-Khamsi (2016, 389) has stressed, “we need to understand changes in the education system in order to understand why and how the transnational businesses and organizations managed to expand their operation at global scale.” Comparing the selected Nordic and Pacific Rim Countries countries will advance our knowledge of how and why privatisation is adopted, translated and enacted in these different national contexts and how this relates to the global picture.
Ball, S.J. (2012). Global Education Inc: New Policy Networks and the Neoliberal Imaginary. Oxon: Routledge Ball, S. J. & Youdell, D. (2007). Hidden privatization in public education. Brussels: Education International. Burch, P. (2009). Hidden Markets: the new education privatization. New York: Routledge. Hogan, A. (2014). Boundary spanners, network capital and the rise of edu-businesses: the case of News Corporation and its emerging education agenda. Critical Studies in Education, (56)3, 301-314. Lubienski, C. (2016). Sector distinctions and the privatization of public education policymaking. Theory and Research in Education, 14(2), 193–212. Mundy, K., Green, A., Lingard, B., & Verger, A. (Eds.) (2016). The Global Education Policy Handbook. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. OECD. (2015c). Global Education Industry Summit. Retrieved 20.9.2016 from https://www.oecd.org/education-industry-summit/ Olmedo, A., Bailey, P.L.J., & Ball, S. J. (2013). To Infinity and beyond … Heterarchical Governance, the Teach for All Network in Europe and the Making of Profits and Minds. European Educational Research Journal December, 12, 492-512. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2016). New directions in policy borrowing research. Asia Pasific Education Review, 17, 381–390 doi:10.1007/s12564-016-9442-9 Verger, A., Lubiensky, C., & Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2016). World Yearbook of Education 2016: The Global Education Industry. Oxon & New York: Routledge.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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