AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Neoliberalism and the Current Educational Climate: The Effect on School Culture and At-Risk Students

by Riccardo Virone

Institution: Concordia University
Year: 2016
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2134997
Full text PDF: http://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/981017/


This study is primarily concerned with uncovering the school culture proliferated by neoliberal education reforms, and the exploration of its effect on students who are at risk of academic failure. A theoretical approach was adopted for the study, which involved a thorough review of the past and current peer-reviewed research literature on neoliberalism, school culture and students who are at risk. In doing so, an overview of neoliberalism was provided, with a focus on examining the influence of the neoliberal process on Canada’s public education system. Additionally, the neoliberal influence on school culture was systematically outlined using Schoen and Teddlie’s (2008) four dimensions of school culture, which aimed to reveal how such a school culture affects the academic experiences of students at risk. These dimensions are: Professional outlook; Organizational structure; Quality of the teaching environment and Student-centered focus. Lastly, a comparison was drawn between Freire’s (1970) notion of “banking education” and today’s Canadian school culture in order to provide insight into the aspects of a neoliberal school culture that are not conducive to the fostering of a critical consciousness among students. The examination of the literature revealed that a school culture, entrenched with neoliberal values and objectives is unconducive to fostering positive academic experiences for students who are at risk of school failure.