Education and the Fantasies of Neoliberalism revitalizes conversations about the nature and purpose of education in a global context characterized by concerns about quality and equity in education, reflecting wider economic and political anxieties around declining productivity and social inclusion.

The book illustrates how Lacanian psychoanalytic theory offers a conceptual vocabulary for exposing and critiquing the fantasmatic nature of policy and practice, while foregrounding the tensions and contradictions they seek to conceal. Specifically, the book draws on ideas of lack, fantasy and desire from Lacanian psychoanalytic theory to gain insights into the contentious but disavowed politics of reform in education. The book builds on cutting-edge work in political and psychoanalytic theory to offer unique insights that challenge and contest the simplistic and often trivializing readings of education in contemporary media and political debates.

Offering a novel perspective on education policy reform, this book will be of great interest to academics, researchers and post-graduate students in the fields of philosophy of education and educational policy and politics.

chapter |16 pages


part Part 1|64 pages

Policy, politics and psychoanalysis

chapter 2|22 pages

Talkin' ‘bout a revolution

The social, political and fantasmatic logics of education policy

chapter 3|19 pages

The sublime objects of education policy

Quality, equity and ideology

part Part 2|60 pages

Psychosocial readings of teacher education

chapter 4|19 pages

Dialectics and dilemmas

Psychosocial dimensions of ability grouping policy

chapter 5|15 pages

Heroes and villains

The insistence of the imaginary and the novice teacher's need to believe

chapter 6|20 pages

Dialectics of development

Teacher identity formation in the interplay of ideal ego and ego ideal

part Part 3|43 pages

Seeing education and policy through film

chapter 7|19 pages

Education beyond reason and redemption

A detour through the death drive

chapter 8|19 pages

Eyes wide shut

The fantasies and disavowals of education policy