chapter  Chapter 1
11 Pages

Education policy and the marketisation of education

ByStephen Ward

This chapter analyses the complex notion of social justice over time. From its origins as a term in Roman Catholic Christian thinking during the 1840s, to its adoption by progressive secular social and political thinkers and contemporary opponents of neoliberalism cut off from its Judeo-Christian roots, social justice is unlikely to counter the social injustices it purports to resolve. It considers the claims made for social justice in the context of Education Studies and calls for a return to the collective universal understanding and moral responsibilities that attended its original construct. Modern interpretations of social justice have coincided with two shifts in human consciousness: the ascendancy of reason over faith and the development of a command economy. Students of Education Studies are encouraged to make a careful critique of the claims made in the name of social justice and decide for themselves which side of the Utopian/virtue divide holds most promise for an ‘unjust’ world.