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What Does Globalization Mean for Educational Change? A Comparative Approach Author(s): Martin Carnoy and Diana Rhotenfor-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and stude nts discover, use, and build upon a wide range of conten t in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at https://about.jstor.org/terms The University of Chicago Press and Comparative and International Education Society are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Comparative Education Review This content downloaded from 103.18.0.17 on Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:48:16 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms " id="pdf-obj-0-3" src="pdf-obj-0-3.jpg">
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What Does Globalization Mean for Educational Change? A Comparative Approach Author(s): Martin Carnoy and Diana Rhoten

Source: Comparative Education Review , Vol. 46, No. 1, The Meanings of Globalization for Educational ChangeGuest Editors: Martin Carnoy and Diana Rhoten (February 2002), pp. 1-9

Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Comparative and International Education Society

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What Does Globalization Mean for Educational Change? A Comparative Approach Author(s): Martin Carnoy and Diana Rhotenfor-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and stude nts discover, use, and build upon a wide range of conten t in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at https://about.jstor.org/terms The University of Chicago Press and Comparative and International Education Society are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Comparative Education Review This content downloaded from 103.18.0.17 on Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:48:16 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms " id="pdf-obj-0-27" src="pdf-obj-0-27.jpg">

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Guest Editorial Essay

What Does Globalization Mean for Educational Change? A Comparative Approach

MARTIN CARNOY AND DIANA RHOTEN

This issue of the Comparative Education Review (CER ) takes as its theme the relationship between globalization and educational change. Linking eco- nomic and social change to changes in how societies transmit knowledge is a relatively new approach to studying education. Before the 1950s, compar- ative education focused mainly on the philosophical and cultural origins of national educational systems. This approach saw educational change as rooted in new educational philosophies or theories—new conceptions of what knowledge should be transmitted and of organizing knowledge trans- mission—usually promulgated by individual visionaries. In the 1960s and 1970s, a rash of historical studies challenged this view. They situated edu- cational reform in economic and social change. Some of them went further, using approaches based in political economy, world systems theory, and the- ories of neocolonialism and underdevelopment to show that economic im- peratives on a global scale were a major force in shaping education world- wide. 1 Others interpreted such change through an institutional lens, arguing that the convergence toward accepted models of modernity has resulted in a process of educational isomorphism within and across countries. 2 Today, the notion that economic and social change affect educational structures and content is old hat. Comparative education has incorporated these models, and many studies have tied educational reform to economic and social change at an international level. Nevertheless, the current phe- nomenon of globalization provides a new empirical challenge as much as it does a new theoretical frame for comparative education. Globalization is a force reorganizing the world’s economy, and the main resources for that

1 See, e.g., P. Altbach, “Servitude of the Mind? Education, Dependency and Neo-Colonialism,” in his University Reform: Comparative Perspectives for the Seventies (Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman, 1974); R. Arnove, “Comparative Education and World Systems Analysis,” Comparative Education Review 24, no. 1 (February 1980): 48–62; N. T. Assie´-Lumumba and T. Lumumba-Kasongo, “The State, Economic Crisis, and Educational Reform in Coˆte d’Ivoire,” in Understanding Educational Reform in Global Context: Economy, Ideology, and the State, ed. M. Ginsburg (New York: Garland, 1991); Martin Carnoy, Education as Cultural Imperialism (New York: McKay, 1974). See, e.g., W. Cummings, “The Institutions of Education: Compare, Compare, Compare!” Com- parative Education Review 43, no. 4 (November 1999): 413–37; P. DiMaggio and W. Powell, “Introduction,” in their The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991); F. Ramirez and J. Meyer, “The World Institutionalization of Education,” in Discourse Formation in Com- parative Education, ed. J. Schriewer (New York: Lang, 2000).

2

Comparative Education Review, vol. 46, no. 1. 2002 by the Comparative and International Education Society. All rights reserved.

0010-4086/2002/4601-0001$05.00

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CARNOY AND RHOTEN

economy are increasingly knowledge and information. If knowledge and information, usually transmitted and shaped by national and local institu- tions, are fundamental to the development of the global economy, and the global economy, in turn, shapes the nature of educational opportunities and institutions, how should we draw the directional arrows in our analysis? To complicate the situation further, global economics and ideology are increas- ingly intertwined in international institutions that promulgate particular strat- egies for educational change. To what degree does educational change rep- resent regional, national, or local responses to global economic restructuring, and to what degree do these changes represent international agencies’ in- tentions regarding these responses? One point is fairly clear. If knowledge is fundamental to globalization, globalization should also have a profound impact on the transmission of knowl- edge. Some have argued that this has not occurred, casting doubt on the capacity of globalization to permeate knowledge production and transmission influenced by local culture. 3 It is true that education appears to have changed little at the classroom level in most countries—even in those nations most involved in the global economy and the information age. Beyond computers being occasionally used in classrooms, teaching methods and national curricula remain largely intact. Even one of the most important educational reforms associated with globalization, the decentralization of educational administra- tion and finance, seems to have little or no effect on educational delivery in classrooms, despite its implementation. However, this is a very narrow interpretation of the effects of globalization on education. The combination of economic restructuring in the world econ- omy and the powerful ideological conceptions of how educational delivery needs to be changed, spread by international institutions as a consequence of the globalization process, is having a significant impact on educational systems worldwide. We need to ask how this larger ideological package—which includes, but is not limited to, decentralization and privatization, choice and accountability, testing and assessment—affects education. The way knowledge is delivered in the classroom is an important aspect of knowledge production, and the classroom seems largely untouched. But the classroom is only one part of the knowledge production process, and even it is being subtly but ultimately transformed by the forces of globalization. In assessing globaliza- tion’s true relationship to educational change, we need to know how glob- alization and its ideological packaging affect the overall delivery of schooling, from transnational paradigms, to national policies, to local practices.

3 See, e.g., N. McGinn, “The Impact of Globalization on National Education Systems,” Prospects:

Quarterly Review of Comparative Education 28, no. 1 (March 1997): 41–54.

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WHAT DOES GLOBALIZATION MEAN?

Globalization and the State

At the heart of the relationship between globalization and education in the current historical conjuncture is the relationship between the globalized political economy and the nation-state. Is the power of the national state di- minished by globalization? Yes and no. Yes, because increasing global economic competition makes the nation-state focus on economic policies that improve global competitiveness at the expense of policies that stabilize the current configuration of the domestic political economy and/or possibly social co- hesion. 4 Yes, because the nation-state is compelled to make the national econ- omy attractive for the mass of capital that moves globally in the “space of flows,” and that may mean a shift of public spending and monetary policy from measures that favor workers and consumers to those benefiting financial in- terests. Globalization forces nation-states to focus more on acting as economic growth promoters for their national economies than as protectors of the na- tional identity or a nationalist project. Consequently, the project of the nation- state tends to become largely limited to enhancing increases in aggregate material gain measured nationally by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or World Trade Organization (WTO) and much less to promoting equal treat- ment experienced nationally by various ethnic groups living within a country’s boundaries. Increasingly, the state shifts power up to regional organizations or down to local governments and is less and less able to equalize the interests of various identities represented in the nation-state. It pushes the problems of ethnic conflict to the local level and increasingly limits its responsibility to develop the economic environment in which individuals can increase their material well-being. This produces new social divisions within the nation-state, new social networks across nation-states, and new social movements against the nation-state. Some analysts go so far as to argue that the globalized nation-state will become “virtual.” It no longer will focus on amassing production capacity but, rather, will invest in its people and determine overall economic strategy. 5 The virtual nation-state is the site of production, and it encourages and stimulates investments from at home and abroad that expand production activities. But it realizes that for the national economy to prosper, its pro- duction does not have to take place at home; rather, it specializes in research and development, design, network, entertainment, and communication soft- ware, and in financial services. The role of the state is to negotiate for its own corporations’ investments abroad and to attract foreign investment do- mestically. The state is a negotiating entity, using its diplomatic and com- mercial skills to enhance payoffs to the nation’s resources. But no, the power of the nation-state may not be diminished by globali-

4

M. Castells, The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997). 5 R. Rosecrance, “The Rise of the Virtual State,” Foreign Affairs 62 (July/August 1996): 45–75.

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zation, because ultimately nation-states still influence the territorial and tem- poral space in which capital has to invest and where most people acquire their capacity to operate globally. 6 Peter Evans’s argument is that to maximize profits and protect their returns, especially from intellectual capital, globalized firms and globalized finance capital need efficient state apparatuses with well-de- veloped civil societies that provide growing markets, stable political conditions, and steady public investment in human capital. 7 Evans points to the results of Dani Rodrik’s 1996 work as evidence that the link between diffusion of the international economy and an evaporation of the nation-state is neither as direct nor as desirable as orthodox neoliberalists have argued. 8 Rodrik’s ex- tensive analysis of Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and developing countries shows that, in fact, there exists a positive rather than a negative connection between the institutional capacity of a na- tion’s state and the country’s degree of compatibility with globalization. Re- search in the 1980s and early 1990s also showed that well-organized interven- tionist state bureaucracies in Asia’s newly industrialized countries (NICs) were an essential element in their rapid economic growth. 9 Although the interven- tionist state’s role has been irrevocably changed by the current crisis in Asia, international and local investment capital still require coherent state regulatory and other policies to restore confidence. And beyond the view that state bu- reaucracies are a necessary element in regulating and protecting firm assets, it is likely that societies with strong national identities and group cohesiveness provide the kind of stability where financial risk can be accurately assessed,

6

A major problem in jumping on the end-of-the-nation-state bandwagon is to separate objective reality (e.g., increased global financial flows, increased global trade within and between multinational companies [MNCs], declining public employment) from an ideological position pushed by these same financial interests, MNCs, the United States, and international organizations seeking to increase their

power on the basis of a global economic order. According to Peter Evans, “The effect of a global ideological consensus (sometimes aptly labeled the ‘Washington consensus’) on individual states goes

well beyond the constraints imposed by any structural logic of the international

economy. . . .

The

economic logic of globalization does not in itself dictate eclipse [of the state]. While globalization does make it harder for states to exercise economic initiative, it also increases both the potential returns from effective state action and the costs of incompetence. Only when viewed through the particular prism of our current global ideological order does globalization logically entail movement toward statelessness. This global ideological order grows, in turn, as much out of the prejudices and ideologies of dominant global actors as out of any logic of interests” (“The Eclipse of the State? Reflections on Stateness in the Era of Globalization,” World Politics 50, no. 1 [1997]: 62–87).

7

Ibid.

8

For Dani Rodrik’s original work, see “The Paradoxes of the Successful State” (Alfred Marshall Lecture, European Economic Association meetings, Istanbul, August 22–24, 1996), and see also “Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?” Working Paper no. 5537 (National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Mass., April 1996). For an interesting discussion of the debate over the growing relevance vs. irrelevance of the state, see, e.g., B. Jessop, State Theory: Putting the Capitalist State in Its Place (London: Polity Press, 1990); F. Keyman, Globalization, State, Identity/Difference: Toward a Critical Social Theory of International Relations (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1997); J. Ruggie, “Territoriality and Beyond: Problematizing Modernity in International Relations,” International Organi- zation 41, no. 1 (Winter 1993): 139–74.

9

A. Amsden, Asia’s Next Giant (New York: Oxford Press, 1989); P. Evans, Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation (Princeton, N.J.: Transformation, 1995); World Bank, The East Asian Economic Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

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WHAT DOES GLOBALIZATION MEAN?

where productivity can be raised with new team-based production innovations, and where educational institutions work reasonably well. The social costs of weak states may be much higher than supposed by those most committed to getting the state off the people’s back. Some analysts have called this underlying context for social and economic interaction “social capital.” 10 Others have focused on trust. 11 Even the World Bank, a global financial institution, has rediscovered the nation-state as important to social capital. 12 A well-organized, efficient state apparatus regulating the rules of the game and implementing coherent economic and social policies attracts capital and high-skilled labor. Inefficient states drive them away.

Globalization and Educational Change

Elsewhere, Carnoy argues in more detail the five ways in which globali- zation is having a major impact on education. 13 In financial terms, most governments are under pressure to reduce the growth of public spending on education and to find other sources of funding for the expected expansion of their educational systems. In labor market terms, governments are simultaneously under pressure to attract foreign capital, and this means providing a ready supply of skilled labor. This translates into pressure to increase the average level of education in the labor force. The payoff to higher levels of education is rising worldwide as a result of the shifts of economic production to knowledge-intensive prod- ucts and processes, as well as because governments implement policies that increase income inequality. As relative incomes for higher-educated labor rise, the demand for university education increases, pushing governments to expand their higher education, and, correspondingly, to increase the number of secondary school graduates ready to attend postsecondary schools. In countries that were previously resistant to providing equal access to education for young women, the need for more highly educated low-cost labor tends to expand women’s educational opportunities. All these pressures conflict with reforms that attempt to reduce public spending on education. In educational terms, the quality of national educational systems is increas- ingly being compared internationally. This has placed increased emphasis on math and science curriculum, standards, and testing, and on meeting standards by changing the way education is delivered. Testing and standards are part of a broader effort to increase accountability by measuring knowledge production and using such measures to assess education workers (teachers) and managers.

  • 10 J. S. Coleman, “Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital,” American Journal of Sociology 94, Suppl. (1988):S95–S120.
    11

F. Fukuyama, Trust: Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (London: Hamish Hilton, 1995).

  • 12 World Bank, World Development Report: The State in a Changing World (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1997).

  • 13 See M. Carnoy, Globalization and Educational Restructuring (Paris: International Institute of Edu- cational Planning, 2000).

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Information technology is gradually being introduced into educational systems, partly to try to expand the quantity of education at lower cost through distance education and partly to deliver higher-quality education (at higher cost) through computer-assisted instruction and the use of the Internet. Al- though almost all countries are at the very beginning of using such new technology, its future use in education cannot be underestimated, particularly because of its ability to link students in the smallest towns of every country with the rest of the world. Globalized information networks mean transformation of world culture. But globalization also means that many groups feel marginalized by the mar- ket values of this new culture. Such groups struggle against the globalized economy by asserting cultural values that may themselves be global (e.g., traditional fundamentalist religion, on the one hand, and postmodern en- vironmentalism and feminism, on the other) but are, at the same time, pro- foundly antimarket. This constitutes a new kind of struggle over the meaning and value of knowledge. Which of these changes are introduced and particularly how they are introduced depends on regional, national, and even local social, economic, and political conditions that mediate the implementation of responses to global pressures for reform. Elsewhere, Rhoten shows how national interpretations of educational reform (which themselves are conditioned responses to glob- alized economic and social change) are differentially interpreted and imple- mented at the local level in three Latin American countries. 14 This analysis illustrates how these interpretations and implementations depend heavily on capacities and structures developed over long periods of time. Thus, educational changes in response to globalization share certain de- fining parameters but still vary greatly across regions, nations, and localities. The other side of that variation is an almost obvious inference: policies pre- scribed by the same paradigm but applied in different contexts produce different practices—so different in some cases—that it is difficult to imagine that they were the result of the same policy. By ignoring differences in con- textual capacity and culture at the national, regional, and local levels, glob- alization has resulted in some unintended and unexpected consequences for educational practice that in some cases have contributed to the deterioration of quality even when the objective has been improvement.

14 D. Rhoten, “Education Decentralization in Argentina: A ‘Global-Local Conditions of Possibility’ Approach to State, Market, and Society Change,” Journal of Education Policy 15, no. 1 (2000): 593–619, and “Convergence and Divergence in the Southern Cone: Rates and Routes of Education Decentrali- zation in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay” (paper presented at the second workshop of the Proyecto Alcance y Resultadus de las Reformas Educativas en Argentina, Chile, y Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Argen- tina, June 7–8, 2001).

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WHAT DOES GLOBALIZATION MEAN?

In This Issue

The focus of this special issue of CER is the impact of globalization on educational change at the regional, national, and local levels. The issue ex- plores the various manifestations of globalized markets and financing as well as globalized politics and policies that reshape education in developing and developed countries. It also examines how paradigms and policies of glob- alization are adopted and adapted at the regional, national, and local levels and their implications for the development of new ideological cultures, in- stitutional structures, and organizational practices of education within and between countries. The four articles in this issue share several things in common. First, all four articles present globalization as a multidimensional, multilevel process that is unequivocally but not exclusively based in economics. The authors all characterize globalization as a process that involves the institutional influences of multinational organizations as much as it does the economic investments of transnational corporations. Second, the authors are all of the opinion that, while such influences and investments tend to be manifest in uniform para- digms at the supranational level and relatively constant policies at the national level, they translate to much more variable practices at the subnational level. As Roger Dale and Susan L. Robertson laconically state, “though there may

be a common thread running [throughout] the globalization processes,

. the forces of globalization do not sweep all before them and homogenize everything.” 15 Third, the authors all argue that this convergence of paradigms and policies at the supranational and national levels has resulted in nontrivial changes in the structure, culture, and organization of education that would not have occurred under other nonglobalized circumstances. Fourth and fi- nally, however, the authors seem to agree that such changes have given rise to a divergence in practices at the subnational level that has not always been anticipated, expected, or desired. Each of the articles wrestles with the process of globalization in terms of education, each seeking to uniquely disentangle the dynamics of the process so as to resolve the mystery of how globally inspired paradigms and policies mix with locally defined structures and cultures. The first of the articles in this issue, by Dale and Robertson, is called “The Varying Effects of Regional Or- ganizations as Subjects of Globalization of Education.” Unlike the other au- thors, they approach the problem by focusing on the role of regional organ- izations in the process of globalization. Using the European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation

. .

as case study examples, Dale and Robertson illustrate how these organizations affect education internally and externally by acting as both mediators of and

15 Roger Dale and Susan L. Robertson, “The Varying Effects of Regional Organizations as Subjects of Globalization of Education” (in this issue, pp. 10–36).

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contributors to globalization. They argue that, while regional organizations have as their central purpose the role of managing the investments of trans- national markets, these organizations have also become agents of international influence in the area of social infrastructure, particularly where the training and formation of human capital are concerned. By identifying a set of variables that specify structural variance between regional organizations and measuring the effects of regional organizations on national (or subnational) education systems, Dale and Robertson illustrate that not only must the content of ed- ucation be viewed differently for the various regions emerging from the process of globalization but also, due to the structures through which education is administered and contested within the regions, so must the social, political, and economic consequences of education. Like the first piece, the second article, titled “The Political Structuration of Assessment: Negotiating State Power and Legitimacy,” demonstrates that the outcomes of globalization as they relate to education are mediated and constructed by the various structural contexts that filter the process. Unlike Dale and Robertson’s piece, however, Luis Benveniste’s article moves this focus of the globalization and education discussion from the regional to the national level. The platform for this discussion is the rapid spread of national assessment systems worldwide in the context of the globalization process. Benveniste argues that while rationale for national systems of assessment can be found in the larger global culture that champions decentralization, ac- countability, and market competition, their rates of diffusion and results of implementation can only be explained by the political interests, relations, and structures of the countries that absorb them. Benveniste conducts a cross- national comparison of the formulation and implementation of national as- sessment systems in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay to demonstrate his frame- work for understanding how global forces interact with national politics to shape different end products from the same initial prototype. In so doing, he theorizes the cultural derivations that incite the global diffusion of the assessment paradigm and reveals the technical/rational-functional and sym- bolic/legitimation motivations that drive the national adoption of assessment policies as well as the political mediations that shape their adaptation. The third paper, “Slouching towards Decentralization: Consequences of Globalization for Curricular Control in National Education Systems,” adds yet another layer of analysis, exploring the effects of globalization at both the national and subnational levels. Within this multilevel framework, M. Fernanda Astiz, Alexander Wiseman, and David P. Baker use both quantitative and qualitative methods to explain how globalization has influenced the spread of education decentralization reforms across nations and what the consequence of these reforms has been for curricular administration and implementation within nations. The authors argue that the curricular ad- ministration and implementation practices emerging in national educational

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WHAT DOES GLOBALIZATION MEAN?

systems display a hybrid of centralized and decentralized traits, the roots of which they claim rest in the mix of economic and institutional influences driving the globalization process. In addition to presenting brief case studies to highlight the hybrid practices of four countries undergoing different ed- ucation decentralization reforms (i.e., Colombia, Spain, France, and the United States), the article uses multivariate analysis to assess the relationship between governance structure and the classroom implementation of math- ematics curriculum in 39 nations. The results of their study show that, on the one hand, a significant number of countries have responded to the patterns and pressures of globalization by adopting supranational paradigms and national policies of education decentralization. On the other hand, how- ever, similar to Benveniste’s findings in the case of assessment, this process of adoption has not resulted in the adaptation of the idealized education decentralization model, meaning that globalization has resulted in varied hybrids of decentralized and centralized education administration with var- ious consequences for practice. In “Globalization Viewed from the Periphery: The Dynamics of Teacher Identity in the Republic of Benin,” Michel Welmond uses the last article in this collection to take us to the most microlevel effects of this macrolevel process by focusing on the question through the lens of teacher identity. Arguing that teacher identity varies and is context dependent, and using the case of the Republic of Benin, the article examines how the roles, respon- sibilities, and relations conceived of and assigned to teachers by the globally inspired edlib paradigms and policies of the 1980s and 1990s contrast with the conditions, characteristics, and considerations that teachers have come to know locally. With detailed archival and interview data, Welmond is able to reconstruct the cultural schemas that populate the teacher identity land- scape, thereby identifying the most popularly conceived notions of who a Beninese teacher is and what a Beninese teacher does. Not only does Wel- mond explain how these notions are a direct result of the specific location that Beninese teachers inhabit with regard to the community, on the one hand, and the state, on the other, but he also then explores how these visions of the Beninese teacher identity challenge every assumption of the edlib teacher identity. It is precisely this type of conflict, Welmond stresses, between the global and the local that has cast many well-intentioned global paradigms and national policies into ill-fated local practices.

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