chapter  1
14 Pages

Citizens or Consumers? The Politics of Educational Reform: An Introduction

In recent years many Western societies have felt the impact of New Right policies, particularly in education. The chapters in this book critically discuss the nature of New Right inspired educational reforms in New Zealand and begin to develop alternative policies to them. While New Right policies, everywhere, have followed a similar theoretical trajectory, they have been subject to local variations and are therefore likely to differ markedly in their consequences. The interest in the reforms now underway in New Zealand lies in the fact that they have been introduced by a Labour government. This has meant that, in theory at least, the inegalitarian edge to some of these reforms has been blunted. From a comparative perspective, this policy-hybrid provides some pointers as to how New Right policies can be turned to good account by those interested in a democratic and egalitarian education.