2006 Abstracts Stage 3

Why has Education become the Cornerstone of Today’s Society?

William McDonnell, 2006, Stage 3

My Territory is the broad subject of education. To be more precise I shall be documenting the way education has developed itself to thrive in a knowledge economy. I shall be looking at the way it had affected and been affected by the economy, the government and the public since the 1950s. My Philosophy shall be Daniel Bell’s work on the ‘Post-Industrial Society,’ which I shall be using in comparison with Manuel Castells’ ‘Post-Information Society.’ My Aim is to understand why education has become the cornerstone of today’s society; it has become the locus for equal opportunities; it had become essential if one is to be successful; and it has become the foundation of our economy. With reference to Bell and Castells I wish to discover why education is now so important for the individual, the politics, and for the economy; and how it got to this stage. My Method shall be to first examine Bell’s forecast on the post-industrial society, by looking at ‘The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society,’ which he wrote in 1973. Then progress onto a thorough examination of my territory which shall be split into three; (i) Economy and education: I shall be looking at how globalization is affected by/ affects education by looking at Colin Leys’ ‘Market Driven Politics,’ and Alison Wolf’s ‘Does Education Matter.’ (ii) Politics and Education: I shall be researching every political Act that has been passed since the 1950s and discussing its importance. (iii) Attitudes of the Individual: understanding why there has been such an increase in higher and adult education as well as understanding the lengths parents will go to in order to ensure their child gets a top quality education. I shall then go on to revisit Bell so I can examine whether his forecast can be reinforced by my findings, and compare his work with that of Castells.

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