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No going back?

by Will Brehm
FreshEd Host and Lecturer, UCL Institute of Education

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about endless calls for systematic reform in education. But what sort of educational structure should we aim to reform?

With reform excitement in the air, I find it valuable to step back and think about the systems of education from a more critical viewpoint. It is in this perspective that I recommend three FreshEd episodes to help us think through our current moment. The first is a conversation with Leigh Patel who discusses the ways in which settler colonialism structures American society, including the academy. The second is a conversation with David Harvey who gives a Marxist critique of higher education. Finally, the third podcast is with Parfait Eloundou who discusses the assumption of meritocracy in education generally and the lack of a class analysis in the Sustainable Development Goals specifically. Together these three episodes show deep structures —  colonialism, capitalism, and meritocracy — that will need to be overcome if any meaningful reform in education will result from coronavirus.

August, 15, 2020