The Cyclical Rhetoric of Educational Reform and the Rationalization of a Failed Zeitgeist

Citation
White, J., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2009, Spring). The Cyclical Rhetoric of Educational Reform and the Rationalization of a Failed Zeitgeist. eJournal of Education Policy.

Abstract

Educational reformers have revived the notion of managing schools like businesses. By borrowing the rhetoric of the industrialization era, the current reform agenda not only presupposes that learning and maximum financial efficiency are synonymous, but also equates students and consumers. In the following paper, we argue that history has shown that its unproductive to talk about or even worse to treat schools as businesses; instead, we argue that it is time to learn from history’s lessons and reframe the way we talk about and therefore think about education.

Keywords: Education reform, business, language, framing an argument, rhetoric

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