WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto

Curriculum Vitae

Bencze, J.L. (2010b). Exposing and deposing hyper-economized school science. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 5(2), 293-303.

Despite indications of the problematic nature of laissez faire capitalism, such as the convictions of corporate leaders and the global financial crisis that appeared to largely stem from a de-regulated financial services industry, it seems clear that societies and environments continue to be strongly influenced by hyper-economized worldviews and practices. Given the importance of societal acceptance of a potentially dominant ideological perspective, it is logical to assume that it would be critical for students to be prepared to function in niches prioritizing unrestricted for-profit commodity exchanges. Indeed, in their article in this issue, Lyn Carter and Ranjith Dediwalage appear to support this claim in their analyses of the large-scale and expensive Australian curriculum and instruction project, Sustainability by the Bay. More specifically, they effectively demonstrate that this project manifests several characteristics that would suggest neoliberal and neoconservative influences—ideological perspectives that they argue are largely fundamental to the functioning of the global economic system. In this forum article, possible adverse effects of neoliberalism and neoconservatism on school science are discussed— with further justification for Carter and Dediwalage’s concerns. Additionally, however, this article raises the possibility of subverting neoliberalism and neoconservatism in science education through application of communitarian ideals.

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