Document: Bibliography - Globalisation

Privatisation in Education Research Initiative
Publication Date:
Thu, 05/01/2012 - 15:55
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397.97 K

Globalisation is a term that emerged in the mid 1980s, and is widely credited to the academic, Roland Robertson who talked about globality.

As a term, it has cultural, economic, political and technological dimensions. However it is often regarded as being too vague or used in very different ways, and therefore not particularly helpful. Despite these concerns, it is an important concept that aims at understanding a range of quite profound phenomena that together have transformed societies around the globe. This includes the liberalisation of national economies, the reorganisation of global production networks, the expansion of transnational firms, the emergence of new digital technologies, and the rapid growth of international organisations.

Some writers refer to these developments as flows of knowledge, finance, people, ideas, goods and services across national borders. However it is important to think about the new ways in which the possibilities of movement for some also depend upon others being limited in their ability to go from one place to another.

In the education sector, globalisation takes a number of different forms. For example, we can see that ‘education’ as a human right has become widely promoted, and that a particular formulation of this - 6 years formal schooling - has become the subject of global aid and regulation. In other words, it is an idea, and practice, that is being globalised.

We can also see that the trend to viewing education as a matter of individual choice, and that its status as a consumption item or commodity, as a form of globalisation. This idea emerged in the 1980s and 90s as a result of free market ideas and has been promoted, taken up, implemented, and also resisted, around the world.

Or, we can see that movements of populations, whether willingly because of better opportunities elsewhere, or forced, because political and conflict makes it impossible to remain, are facets of globalisation that directly affect classroom life. For educators, this means engaging with populations of learners who face particular challenges as a result of differences in language, cultural milieus, resources and opportunities.

Whilst the term – we live in a global village - coined by Marshall McLuhan signals something important about the greater levels of diversity of societies and communities, there are clear challenges for education systems. The idea of global citizenship education has been an important response to processes of globalisation. However this entails being open to, and willing to learn from, and value, diversity and difference.

This bibliography provides a comprehensive lists of readings on this issue.

Photo credit: M.R.Stewart

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