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Popular Educational Classics

A Reader

Edited By Joseph L. DeVitis

The last half century has created deep tensions in how we analyze educational and social change. Educators, policymakers, and concerned citizens have had to cope with competing belief systems in evaluating and acting upon school policies and practices. This illuminating book untangles many of the roots of those persistent debates that have divided the nation for so long. It offers readers a critical opportunity to reflect on our continuing ideological struggles by examining popular books that have made a difference in educational discourse.
The editor has specifically selected key books on social and educational controversies that speak to wide audiences. They frame contextual issues that so-called «school reformers» have often neglected – much to the detriment of any real educational progress. Ultimately, this text is meant to stir our consciences, to disorder our certainties, and to compel us to treat education and culture with both reason and passion. It is highly relevant for courses in social foundations of education, school reform, educational policy studies, philosophy of education, history of education, politics of education, curriculum studies, and teacher education.
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Chapter Thirty-Eight: Yong Zhao, World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students (2012)


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Yong Zhao, World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students (2012)

Alison LaGarry and George W. Noblit


There are epochs to ideas. In that sense, context shapes what is possible to image, to do. In the current neoliberal global economic context, the knowledge economy has given way to the creative economy (Florida, 2002). In this epoch, ideas and images are a currency, symbols are to be managed, and design becomes the fundamental work process. There are other tropes of the epoch as well. Creativity becomes a watchword and entrepreneurship the vehicle to new economic opportunities. Many find these two tropes to be linked directly—entrepreneurship is in some ways creativity. This is a mantra increasingly common in business circles, one that reproduces the education/economy linkage that has defined schooling at least since industrialization, even if the industrial order is no longer the defining aspect of economic growth.

Education is definitely out of sync with this economic shift, bound as it is to increasing control as the mechanism for increasing learning. Politics and policy are still heavily invested in standardizing curriculum and learning—a model of education tied to the now-moribund industrial economy. Politicians and policymakers seemingly cannot imagine schools that would enable people to work in the newer knowledge and creative economies, but one does wonder if this is a lack of imagination or purposeful stratification. In any case, creativity is everywhere...

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