Critical Teaching as the Counter-Hegemony to Neoliberalism

  • John Smyth
Part of the Marxism and Education book series (MAED)


Contemporarily in Western countries, teachers in public schools have been under siege. In policy terms, they have been treated in distrustful, demeaning, and exceedingly disrespectful ways by governments that through neoliberal policies overwhelmingly construct the work of teachers to serve the economy. Teachers have been told in no uncertain terms that their professional judgments are unwelcome, and that they are servants of capitalism at the behest of complicit and compliant governments. The relays through which this works are readily on display—high-stakes testing; distributing payment by performance or results; ranking and rating schools by means of league tables; publicly “naming and shaming” schools that are underachieving; penalizing schools through linking resourcing to notions of so-called school choice; distorting and trivializing the work of schools by requiring them to compete for “clients” through self-marketing and fake forms of image and impression management; technicizing the work of teachers through teacher-pro of curricula and “scripted” forms of teaching; requiring schools to prostitute themselves to the corporate sector through pursuing various forms of sponsorship; and generally unleashing savage and unremitting “culture wars” against schools as public institutions and eulogizing the alleged benefits of all manner of privatisms.


Social Responsibility Social Justice Teacher College Critical Pedagogy Soccer Ball 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Sheila Macrine, Peter McLaren, and Dave Hill 2010

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  • John Smyth

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