Mass schooling has resulted in an education system which largely ignores cultural relativism and instills attributes such as nationalism and discipline to make individuals better citizens in our neoliberal capitalist world. Because of this, standards for being considered “educated” our consolidated with assumed Western superiority, with English set as capitalism’s “universal” language. The establishment of English not only reinforces hierarchy and classism, but also dismisses non-traditional forms of education (i.e. education learned outside of the classroom) and supports the traditional literary canons.
Schooling praises and perpetuates certain values that favor the elites, one of them being speaking a second language (nowadays English). Access to English is very limited to lower socioeconomic classes, imposing a hurdle to access. Lack of English fluency is, however, also perceived as a limiting factor for people within a global economy. To learn English as a second language is, often, to subscribe to neoliberal values and a neoliberal system. Because English the language that people do business in, even in countries where English is not the native language, learning how to speak English allows people to make themselves more marketable, or so they believe. To speak English is not so much as an advantage in the global economy, as it is almost a requirement and a disadvantage to not know.
As more people speak English, it becomes more useful to know, and so more people will feel the necessity to speak it. The New York Times Article touches on how massive and rooted English has become in the global economy. Whether it will ever decline, like Latin or French is a question to some. English is gradually becoming more localized in so many places and diffusing itself in other languages. In a way, locals are reclaiming language and taking over English. At the same time, it’s important to ask what is lost in the process. The exportation of language is tied to an exportation of ideals and culture.Roblox Hack Free Robux
Here are some discussion questions for your enjoyment:
- Do you buy the viewpoint that the original intent behind mass schooling was the reinforcement of neoliberal ideology ?
- What do you think is the relationship between mass schooling and Democracy?
- How (if any) has the conception of schooling and education broadened with along with our understanding of culture?
- What makes the concept of universal English provocative? Does this operate in the same way as the Dallas TV show (Western cultural symbols being taken and reinterpreted within the context of local culture)?
- Consider the debate on Common Core in America. Do you see Common Core as reinforcing socioeconomic class barriers, or breaking them down? Was this the original intent?
- How does language affect access? While perhaps languages are not inherently superior or inferior to each other, some may be more useful – is teaching English empowerment or an imposition?
- Do you see the example in the Economist as a challenge to neoliberalism or a reinforcement? Is China doing something different than mass schooling, or simply interpreting and reverberating it?
Chapter 32 in Globalization Reader: World Culture and the Future of Schooling.
Bonus (I think this is vaguely relevant and very short):