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The primary idea of New Labour education policy

Critical analysis and examination of research help estimate the quality of the research and allow assessment of the evidence culminated for research (Evplova, 2019). In this paper, a critical analysis will be undertaken by Gewirtz (2001), titled "Cloning the Blairs: New Labour’s programme for the re-socialization of working-class parents". The paper analyses the education policy placed by the New Labour's problem and highlights how it focuses on the amalgamation of the working-class parents in the middle-class education system. This essay will explore the ideas and disciplines that have impacted this analysis and have shaped this paper along with the primary narrative set into its context. The paper will also assess the conceptual frameworks, and the researcher's bias in the compilation of this research will be assessed.  

The primary idea that has been taken into consideration in this paper is the attempt of the labour party to promote the culture of “achievement”, where it focuses on achieving a change in the parents' attitudes (Gewirtz, 2001). The author asserts that the policy aims to meet the contradictions in the class antagonisms by the transformation of the working class parents into middle-class parents. The new labour party is the party that is primarily associated with beliefs of social democracy and democratic socialism. Hence, the premise of discussion that has been set in the paper is in alignment with ideas of socialism and the formulation of pedagogical approaches and structural changes that need to be developed to improve the existing education system of the country (Jensen, 2018). The paper discusses the narrative peddled in the speech of UK Secretary of State for Education, David Blunkett. According to Gewirtz (2001), the idea of the policy is also associated with the development of the working-class parents into more active educators and focus on the holistic improvement of the child and the learning processes. Hence, the author sees this as an attempt of the party to move a greater section of the working-class population in the mannerisms of the middle-class parents. Therefore it has been regarded as an “ambitious program of socialization and re-education". The author asserts that the education policy by the new labour movements is not the only policy aimed at working-class parents. In addition, the policy is also associated with the policy based on the eradication of child poverty. In the discussion, Gerwitz (2001) provides a methodological understanding of why this policy would have been developed. According to Gerwitz (2001), the foundations of the new labour education policy rests on the premise that middle-class people are the active consumers of the education market. In addition, it assumes that middle-class parents monitor the policies provided by the school and intervene when required to ensure the holistic development of the educational procedures and policies (Goodall, 2021). Further, the new education policy also assumes that middle-class parents can appropriate the cultural capital and the social capital in the learning process, which the new education policy aims to transform with the active participation of the parents (Gunter, 2018). 

Marxist Approach to Education

The primary idea of socialism and pedagogy can be underlined with the Marxist approaches for education that focus on universal access to quality education (Hopkins, 2019). The Marxist approach to education can be associated with the constructivist idea of pedagogy and learning that emphasizes collaboration, critique, and activity in learning (Au, 2018). This is classically different from the conservative ideas of knowledge that focus on the imbibition of knowledge from the elders or with a conformist approach. The Marxist approach toward learning is thus centred on the students than on the teachers. In the book "pedagogy of the oppressed”, Paulo Freire also asserted similar narratives in the field of education where he asserted that mainstream education systems, in the primary form of their practice, focus on attempts of the educators that deposit their knowledge in the children and thus end up providing education in a passive manner (Freire, 2020). Therefore, the Marxist understanding asserts active learner participation and critical consciousness development to provide education holistically and comprehensively. Only through this learning means can the learner liberate themselves and focus on social transformation. Therefore, it is important to focus on the holistic development of education and learning (Chapman, 2020). The idea of education and quality access of education only to a privileged few remains one of the primary concerns of the Marxist approach towards education. It is focused on developing an educational approach that can target a larger section of the working population and ensure the development of learning by the inculcation of critical thinking skills in the children and not by passive imbibition of knowledge. While the paper discusses the alternative approaches for education, it fails to determine the new educational structures that need to be placed. Participatory education is one of the core essences of quality education and is associated with benefits and impact on the educational outcomes of the children (Pereiera & Marques-Pinto, 2018). However, the assertion that the shifting of education towards the families and reducing the institutions' stakeholdership may result in a highly mechanical educational process.

The education policy by the new labour party is associated with the focus on the active participation of the individuals in the process of learning along with the inclusion of the parents of the children in the learning and development of learning of the children (Darling-Hammond et al., 2020). While this education policy aims to change the pedagogical structure and the educational structure, Gerwitz (2001) provides a systematic critique of the policy with a strong theoretical base. The problem of the poor education structure and its outcomes is not a methodological problem but a structural problem, and yet, the paper focuses on bringing in structural changes in the educational approaches and forms it as the focal point of critique. Hence, while the vigilance of the parents has been asserted in the policy, the limited number of institutions with the required policies and structures remains one of the key problems that this policy will fail to solve. In addition, Gerwitz (2001) argues that the harshly competitive environment that is peddled into the educational narrative is unhealthy, and instead of uplifting the people from the working class and bringing them into a discussion central to the sphere, this education policy aims to assimilate the working-class people into the middle class. The author also suggests that the availability of resources is limited, and the cultivation of competition based only on changing parents' perspectives and their inclusion in the educational process can make only superficial changes. Rather, holistic perspectives with structural changes are needed. Hence, through the lens of Paulo Friere, it fails to develop a curricular approach through the connotations of the working class people and the oppressed. Hence, it can be asserted that the paper provides an alternative perspective to understanding the policy structure and its implementation against the primarily published literature around it. The main contribution to knowledge that this paper claims is associated with providing an alternative perspective where a critique based on realistic implementation of the education policy and the connotations of the working class people has been taken into consideration. In addition, the author draws the reader to a wider body of knowledge that aims to question the educational structure and the policies developed to uplift the children of the working class. This study provides an evidence-based discussion and aims to assess the application of the new labour education structure and its emphasis on working-class students and parents (Abend, 2019). The discussion has been shaped with consideration of the range of resources making the findings reliable and the opinion of the researcher highly valuable. The direct analysis and implications of the speech have been assessed in the literature, providing a nuanced perspective to the discussion. The paper presents a critical discussion and raises a substantial discussion where the very nature of reforms in the educational structure and its mode of action has been questioned. The idea of categorization of parents into “middle class” and the “working class” parents and their designated roles and responsibilities present an intriguing insight into the research. The paper by Gerwitz (2001) thus prompts an effective discussion about the new labour education policy and its structural features. 

The research paper by Gewirtz (2001), titled “Cloning the Blairs: New Labour’s programme for the re-socialization of working-class parents, assesses the speech and the education policy of the new labour party. A critical analysis of this paper has been discussed in this paper that provides an alternative approach for understanding the application and the implication of the new education policy on the people. The policy aims to include a greater section of the population in the process of education and learning and aims to do so by cultivating the ideals of learning of the middle-class population in the working-class population. This approach of the policy has been criticized by the author, who asserts the systematic and structural limitations that are associated with the high competition and the limited availability of educational resources. This paper thus concludes that the findings of the paper by Gewirtz (2001) provide an alternative perspective for the educational outcomes for the education of the children but fail to inculcate the importance of a participatory approach in pedagogy and education. The paper thus suggests that active inclusion of learning approaches with improved educational structure can make a change in the education system. 

References

Abend, G. (2019). Thick concepts and sociological research. Sociological Theory, 37(3), 209-233.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0735275119869979 

Au, W. (2018). A Marxist education. Haymarket Books. 

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=MHFYDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT29&dq=marxist+approach+to+education&ots=spSlTbX_Zi&sig=0TmohvGB4lUT6U5zraOSgxsoSB0 

Chapman, R., Richardson, D., Cope, E., & Cronin, C. (2020). Learning from the past; a Freirean analysis of FA coach education since 1967. Sport, Education and Society, 25(6), 681-697. 

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13573322.2019.1654989 

Darling-Hammond, L., Flook, L., Cook-Harvey, C., Barron, B., & Osher, D. (2020). Implications for educational practice of the science of learning and development. Applied Developmental Science, 24(2), 97-140. 

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10888691.2018.1537791 

Evplova, E. V. (2019). Social characteristics of personal and corporate competitiveness of future specialists: results of sociological research. The Education and science journal, 21(2), 132-154. https://www.edscience.ru/jour/article/view/1136?locale=en_US 

Freire, P. (2020). Pedagogy of the oppressed.. In The Community Performance Reader (pp. 24-27). Routledge. 

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003060635-5/pedagogy-oppressed-paulo-freire 

Gewirtz, S. (2001). Cloning the Blairs: New Labour's programme for the re-socialization of working-class parents. Journal of Education Policy, 16(4), 365-378. 

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02680930110054353 

Goodall, J. (2021). Parental engagement and deficit discourses: Absolving the system and solving parents. Educational Review, 73(1), 98-110. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00131911.2018.1559801 

Gunter, H. M. (2018). The politics of public education: Reform ideas and issues. Policy Press.

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Y_d1DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&ots=RJn6-4SNwr&sig=-13JRNHBswJc9ZSOpQfgoxO97OY 

Hopkins, N. (2019). Democratic socialism and education: New Perspectives on Policy and Practice. Dordrecht: Springer.

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-030-18937-2.pdf 

Jensen, T. (2018). Parenting the crisis: The cultural politics of parent-blame. Policy Press. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0QVpDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&ots=DbIXjE3Pt6&sig=SOjLD4bpjXvvgG1QhBW8Ou8qsqI 

Pereira, N. S., & Marques-Pinto, A. (2018). Development of a social and emotional learning program using educational dance: A participatory approach aimed at middle school students. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 59, 52-57. 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191491X16301705 

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