23 SES 09 B, Global Transitions Remaking Education Spaces and Professional Projects
This presentation explores how teachers from Southeast/Central Europe and Southeast Asia navigate (neo)liberal education reforms through their participation in private tutoring activities. The findings reveal that teachers may have accepted the logic of market-based education service provision (as reflected in their private tutoring activities), but have simultaneously used the newly created “private” space to evade and perhaps even defy multiple (neo)liberal regulations permeating their work in public schools, such as student-centered learning and curriculum standards. Similar to Sassen’s (1991) work on “global cities,” we view private tutoring as a de-nationalized national space, where global flows “touch down” in national territories and are serviced by local actors, but in ways that are oriented towards sustaining local visions of “quality” education and “good” life. The result is a double entendre of privatization: (neo)liberal reforms contribute to the de-professionalization of the teaching profession while at the same time enable teachers to actively resist (neo)liberal reforms in unexpected and innovative ways. The chapter examines how teachers re-draw the boundaries between the global and the local (as well as the public and the private) in ways that enable them to reclaim professionalism and, equally important, redefine the global (neo)liberal agenda itself.
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