What type of global community and citizenship? Tangled discourses of neoliberalism and critical democracy in curriculum and its reform
Countries around the globe are responding to the pressures of globalisation, standardisation, accountability and market rationality. In curriculum reform, we theorise these pressures as neoliberal cosmopolitanism because they are intended to promote a new type of entrepreneurial citizen that navigates an increasingly interconnected global community. However, there is resistance to these pressures by educators who promote a global community based upon principles of critical democracy and multiculturalism. Because public schools are a powerful regulatory force in society, this curriculum struggle between neoliberal and democratic intents is increasingly significant. It is a struggle that defines the size, scope and qualities of our future global community. We used principles of critical discourse analysis to examine brief examples in two countries, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. Our examination illustrates how, although these countries have very different contexts, curriculum often sends competing messages related to neoliberal and democratic intents. Our analysis has implications for curriculum reform and changing understandings of our global community.