No. 82 (December 2019)
Processes of privatization “in” and “of” education are now found in most countries around the world.
In a context of increased globalization and internationalization of education systems, the implementation in recent decades of specific privatization measures, the development of a commercial education sector, as well as fundamental societal changes concerning the notions of individualism and the individual, interrogate the challenges of privatization in a new way.
Is the promotion of private interests compatible with an education process? Does it irredeemably induce, for example, a utilitarian conception of education? What is its impact on the new generations and their ability to form a society? Finally, do privatizations during education change its nature or is it simply a matter of difference in mode of organization or governance?
To answer these questions, this dossier brings together the contributions of thirteen educational researchers, renowned global specialists or authors of pioneering investigations in their field, whose work allows us to consider a great variety of cases (Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, England, France, India, Sweden, the United States). It also highlights cross-cutting issues in many countries, such as the development of private tutoring in Asia or the strategies implemented by private companies to influence educational policies.
Whichever definition is chosen, all the authors point to the unprecedented growth in privatization in recent years. Illustrating this diversity is one of the main objectives of this dossier, which shows three principal forms of privatization, which are not exclusive and clearly linked to one another: privatization through specific public policies; privatization by the market; and a privatization by increasingly taking into account private individual aspirations and interests.
A dossier coordinated by Thierry Chevaillier, University of Burgundy, and Xavier Pons, University of Paris-Est Créteil