Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation / Sarah Knopp

The hierarchical relations of work and production are mirrored in the relations we see in schools. The hierarchies between administrators and teachers, teachers and students, students and other students correspond to boss-worker relationships and indeed prepare students to play those roles. Students produce work for external rewards (grades) in much the same way that workers work only for a paycheck, have no control over the product they make, and become divorced (or alienated) from their work. Students don’t “work” for the inherent value of knowledge, but rather do the work they are told to for the purpose of earning a grade and eventually a diploma. Like workers, they jump through hoops. There’s a lack of democracy and intellectual control over the content of our studies that’s similar to workers’ lack of control over what they produce.

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