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The Learning Conference 2003

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The Commodification of Education: Ethico-political Issues in the Global Marketing of Knowledge

Dr Denise Egea-Kuehne.

They defined the objectives of their instruction, established a timeline, and fixed a price. This is how Plato described the Sophists' approach to education. Hence their pragmatism ? i.e., is true only that which is efficient ? and their relativism, also denounced by Plato in these words: 'The good is no better than its opposite, neither is the just?' (R?blique VII 538e). This same mercantile approach to education is currently being used in the global marketing of knowledge over Internet and falls into what has been called the 'industrial metaphor'. The description of this commodification of education is the object of the first part of this paper. Then a reading of Michel Serres's works helps understand how the globalization of education can be at one and the same time both a promise and a threat and raise serious ethico-political issues, and how it can affect the very nature of knowledge.


Dr Denise Egea-Kuehne  (United States)
Associate Professor in Education
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education
Louisiana State University

Denise Egéa-Kuehne is associate professor and director of the French Education Project for Research and Teacher Education in the College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. She has been an Invited Scholar at the Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique, Paris, France. Her areas of research center around curriculum theory, philosophy of education, critical theory and cultural studies with a focus on French authors. She lectures and publishes in North America and Europe on issues of diversity, languages, human rights and related ethico-political issues. She recently co-authored and co-edited a book with Gert Biesta, Derrida & Education. She is currently working on the texts of Levinas, Serres and Derrida

  • Globalization
  • Education
  • Knowledge
  • Commodification
  • Ethics
  • Ethico-political
  • Serres

(Virtual Presentation, English)