Globalization and Education
Characteristics, Dynamics,
IFE 2020
Leadership Institute
February 23-March 6, 2009
Defining Globalization
“…increased economic, cultural,
environmental, and social
interdependencies and new
transnational financial and political
formations arising out of the mobility of
capital, labor and information, with both
homogenizing and differentiating
tendencies.” (Jill Blackmore, 2000)
Some characteristics of Globalization:
Economic, political, social
 Increased exchange of goods, values, symbols
 new regimes of regulation (WTO, NFTA, etc.)
 World wide growth of market oriented societies
 Neo-liberalism as a global ideology: changing nature of
the state: and greater role for private sector
 Growing inequality
 Collapse of time and space--speeding up of change
 Impacts on both social and cultural homogenization and
differentiation-permeability of borders
 The centrality of migration to global change--a world of
 Global environmental changes
Some Political Economy and Education Issues
 Changes in where work is done and how it is done. (If education
tends to conform to industrial system, how must education
change to conform to new order of production?)
 Emergence of knowledge economies and the network society.
(Castells) (What should be the content of education be in a
network society? How will people learn differently?)
 Consumerism, learning culture through consumption--the notion
of a world of goods. (Given the primacy of consumption, does it
come to function as a parallel education system? What do
people know? How do they know it?)
The Primacy of Management
 Managerialism as a new global ideology (How does
managerialism affect both the organization of
education, and its goals and values? How is it
changing notions of what constitutes education and
its worth to society?)
 Increasing privatization of education (What does
privatization do to education as a public good? What
are the social consequences of privatization of
The Particular Importance of Rapid
 Hyper-urbanization and migration. 2001 first time
50% of world’s population live in cities and urban
aggregates. 411 cities of over 1 million. Most
urbanization in Asia. Pace of urbanization outstrips
capacity of cities to provide infrastructure and
 Urbanization problematizes governance (including
 Rapid urbanization compromises government’s
capacity to generate state resources
 Rapid urbanization closely associated with growing
inequality and absence of equity
“Without concerted action on the part of the municipal authorities,
national governments, civil society actors and the international
community, the number of slum dwellers is likely to increase in
most developing countries. And if no serious action is taken, the
number of slum dwellers worldwide is projected to rise over the
next 30 years to about 2 billion.”Kofi Annan
In developing regions, slum dwellers account for 43 per cent of
the population in contrast to about 6 per cent in more developed
regions. In sub-Saharan Africa the proportion of urban residents in
slums is highest at 71.9 per cent, according to the report. Oceania
had the lowest at 24.1 per cent. South-central Asia accounted for
58 per cent, east Asia for 36.4 per cent, western Asia for 33.1 per
cent, Latin America and the Caribbean for 31.9 per cent, north
Africa for 28.2 per cent and southeast Asia for 28 per cent. . UN
Habitat: The Challenge of Slums
“World’s of education”
 Global cosmopolitanism and resistance (fundamentalism,
localism, anti-globalism)
 Media: The duality of control and information overload
 Religion in a globalized world: fundamentalism as a response to
rapid change
 The expansion and retreat of civil society. (Educating through
and about civil society)
 Technology issues: digital world, digital divide, and the
explosion of knowledge; the increasing plurality of knowledge
Education’s Future
 Given that contemporary globalization is about change, increases in
rate and kind, what should education be about?
 Looking at demographic trends and implications for the nature of the
state, can the state meet educational needs in populations?
 In the great rush to the cities, what happens to the “left behind”?
 What are the implications of demographics for what people are taught
in terms of content and cultural capability? (Who will you work for, what
will you do, what languages will you speak in doing them?)
 In a world of increasing interdependence how does cross border
education affect traditional “national” education?
 Given increased income and cultural inequalities, is the “rationalizing”
role of education in national societies over?
 In an world of ever-increasing complexity, what are our obligations to
teach “how the world works”? And, who will do it? And, how would we
 In a world of recession--coming on the heels of decades of growth-what will be the fate of education in terms of funding, state
commitments, etc?
Did You Know?

Globalization and Eduction - East