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Neoliberal Globalization and Learner-Centered Pedagogies: Posing Some Different Questions

Abstract

The term globalization has come to depict the recent global, largely neoliberal, economic, political, and social restructuring and modes by which we now interpret our world (Featherstone, 1996). It is increasingly clear that contemporary education needs to be considered in tandem with globalization as the dominant logic at work, rethinking and reconfiguring the social landscape in which education is entrenched. This proposition holds for many aspects of education, including learner-centered pedagogies and their heavily promoted ability to support improved learning outcomes. In this article, I pose some general questions of learner-centered pedagogies in the context of globalization that are not so often considered within the celebratory framework in which they find themselves usually embedded. Firstly, I reflect upon the evidence we believe we have that learner-centered pedagogies lead to improvements in learning outcomes and more effective learning. Secondly, I review what learning outcomes are we seeking to improve and to what ends and, finally, ask whether learner-centered pedagogies are in danger of becoming a one-size-fits-all approach in a neoliberal world irrespective of issues of diversity and cultural context.

Résumé

Le mot globalisation renvoie désormais à la restructuration politique et sociale, largement néolibérale, qui a caractérisé récemment l’économie mondiale, et aux modalités grâce auxquelles nous interprétons aujourd’hui le monde (Featherstone, 1996). Il est de plus en plus clair que l’enseignement actuel doit être considéré, en parallèle avec la globalisation, comme la logique dominante, et que le paysage social dans lequel l’enseignement est enraciné doit être repensé et reconfiguré. Cette proposition vaut pour de nombreux aspects de l’enseignement, y compris la pédagogie centrée sur l’étudiant, dont la capacité d’améliorer les résultats d’apprentissage a été maintes fois vantée. Dans cet article, je soulève certaines questions générales liées à la pédagogie centrée sur l’apprenant dans le contexte de la globalisation, questions qui ne sont pas souvent posées dans le cadre de célébration où elle est normalement intégrée. D’abord, je me penche sur les preuves que nous croyons avoir que cette pédagogie améliore les résultats d’apprentissage et permet réellement un apprentissage plus efficace. Ensuite, je m’interroge sur les résultats d’apprentissage que nous souhaitons améliorer et dans quels buts, et enfin je demande si la pédagogie centrée sur l’apprenant risque de devenir une approche passe-partout dans notre monde néolibéral, qui ne respecte ni la diversité, ni les contextes culturels.

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Correspondence to Lyn Carter.

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Carter, L. Neoliberal Globalization and Learner-Centered Pedagogies: Posing Some Different Questions. Can J Sci Math Techn 10, 223–231 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1080/14926156.2010.504481

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