Inserting The Subjective “I”: Globalization, Neo-Liberalism & Student Agency In Post-Secondary Education

Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 6 (1):78-84 (2011)
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Abstract

In an increasingly globalized world, post- secondary education is being reduced to instrumental and economic ends; a significant effect of this is that student agency is undermined. Students are incited to perform neo-liberal values that subvert their willingness to think of their post- secondary experience as anything other than professional training. Neo-liberal values do inhibit individuality and agency within a post- secondary context; however, from a Foucaultian perspective, the dominant discourse can never squelch the possibility of alternative discourses from emerging, thereby unhinging the seemingly cemented reality described above. In the first section of this paper, I will provide a theoretical overview of globalization, its relationship to neo-liberalism and how these have impacted post- secondary education. This overview will enable me to consider a very specific example of how neo-liberal ideology is being manifested in post- secondary classrooms: namely, the reluctance of pre-service teachers to use the first person singular pronoun in their research papers.

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