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MARXISM AND EDUCATION
Transcript of MARXISM AND EDUCATION
MA Educational Management
Philippine Normal University
I. MARX AND ENGELS: THE CLASSICAL PARADIGM
II. THE MARXIAN PERSPECTIVE ON EDUCATION
III. THE MARXISTS
IV. CRITICISM ON MARXISM AND EDUCATION
I. MARX AND ENGELS:
THE CLASSICAL PARADIGM
KARL HEINRICH MARX
Marx's theory on society, economy. politics-- collectively known as MARXISM-- hold that societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle, a conflict between the "bourgeoisie" and the "proletariat".
- He was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist.- His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist movement.- His most famous writings are "The Communist Manifesto" which he co-wrote with his fellow German socialist, Friedrich Engels, and "The Capital".
The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing, and that, therefore, changed men are products of other circumstances and changed upbringing, forgets that it is men who change circumstances and that it is essential to educate the educator himself.
The education system, as part of the super structure, therefore, was a reflection of the base structure and served to reproduce it.
The mode of production of material life conditions
the general process of social, political and intellectual life.
It is not the consciousness of men that determines their
existence, but their social existence that determines their
consciousness (MARX 1975: 425).
Marx maintained that the political system, the legal system,
the family, the press, the educational system, were all rooted
in the final analysis, to the class nature of society,
which in turn was a reflection of the economic base.
"LIFE IS NOT DETERMINED BY CONSCIOUSNESS
BUT CONSCIOUSNESS BY LIFE"
When Marx died in October 1883,
he devoted the rest of his life
translating and editing Marx's works.
He was the co-founder of modern Communism
and Socialism together with Karl Marx.- He co-wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848.
THE MARXIAN PERSPECTIVE
MARXISM holds that human actions and
institutions are economically determined
and that class struggle is needed to create
historical change and that capitalism will
ultimately be superseded by communism.
They do not agree with functionalists
and others that it is a meritocratic
systems but rather, it keeps the inequalities
found in the capitalist society.
A neo-Marxist, Althuser looked
at how we are "conned" into accepting
the inequality in education.
He argued that education convinces the pupils
that the capitalist system is fair (part of the false
consciousness Marx talked about) and that children
are prepared in school for their exploitation in workplace.-- the key ways these are done are:
1. Via the "hidden curriculum"
-- students are trained to follow orders
and instructions at school thus, preparing
them of the same work.
-- exams the rewards to students
who work hard, even though they
are totally bored with the work they do
3. In Marxist, language students are "alienated"
they often don't see the relevance of what they
are studying. This is the same in the world of work,
where the only reward is often only the money earned.
BOWLES & GINTIS
--In "Schooling in Capitalist Society",
Bowles and Gintis claim that schools
reward conformity over intelligence
In their study on American high school students,
they found that the best grades were achieved by
hardworking obedient students rather than the c
reative, aggressive, and independent ones.
They also noted that schools correspond
with boring factory line production to
prepare future workers for their lot in
The school is not meritocratic,
they pretend to be.
Working class students see through
the "smoke screen of false consciousness,
that is they know that they were destine to
fail exams and their anti-school stance was in
part a rejection of the values of the school.
By failing the education they were
being well prepared for the type of
work they went into.
THE MYTH OF EDUCATION
= EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS
= MONETARY SUCCES
Ralph Miliband ("The State in capitalist Society")
-- Being born of well-to-do parents gives certain
benefits, some of which derive from the better
material circumstances of the family.
Money can't buy you Love but it can buy an Education
His book Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1972)
continues to be an example of how Marxist
revolutionary politics can be worked into
educational theory and practice.
This kind of education has become known as critical
(sometimes dialogical) pedagogy and it involves
teachers using classrooms for a critique of bourgeois
ideology or the worldviews of the oppressors.
The views of the oppressed themselves, the students,
are given a voice and a legitimacy. They are not suppressed
by a dominant teacher who tells them ‘how it is’ and
‘what they must do’.
Instead teachers and students seek to challenge
traditional models of their relationship, working
through together in a mutual dialogue how the
world is and naming it according to these
For Freire this praxis is revolutionary because the ideas,
language and concepts of the oppressed will threaten
and potentially overcome the bourgeois relations of domination,
both in education and in the wider society.
This critical education aims to undermine
bourgeois ideology and to transform
undemocratic forms of society into free
and democratic socialist societies.
The Marxist approach to education is broadly constructivist,
and emphasizes activity, collaboration and critique, rather
than passive absorption of knowledge, emulation of elders
and conformism; it is student-centered rather than teacher
centered, but recognizes that education cannot transcend
the problems and capabilities of the society in which it is located.
1. Many argued that its thesis about the structural features of ideology — that ideology was built into the system and would corrupt all attempts to overthrow it — was over-deterministic.
a. Marxism is accused of being "economically determinist". That is, the idea that Marxists over-exaggerate the importance of economic relationships; relationships that are seen to determine the shape taken by all other relationships (family, education, friendship, religious and so forth).
b. By concentrating upon economic relationships and conflicts Marxists tend to either overlook other forms of (non-economic) conflict or attempt to explain these conflicts as ultimately having economic roots.
2.The role of education has
been over simplified.
3.Students do see the system as unfair
4.All students do not conform to the
rules and regulations of school life.
5. People do have different abilities
and some skills are in short supply,
therefore it is functionally necessary
that some will earn more than others.
“The education of all children, from the moment that
they can get along without a mother's care, shall be
in state institutions.” -- KARL MARX