How Can a Teacher's Professional Integrity be Sustained Given the Neoliberal Pressure on School Leaders Today?

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Vanderbilt University
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Neoliberalism is a new ideology which is currently penetrating every part of our society. As a developing concept, this ideology refers to the political and economical ideology advocating for the limitation of infringement of government policies in the markets. Philosophy gives greater emphasis to the free market approaches. The free market approaches focuses on maintaining the governmental involvement at the bare minimum. There is, however, a concern that this concept, which is meant to create autonomy in the local markets, has been manipulated to do the contrary. It currently serves to perpetuate the involvement of the governments involvement in the affairs of the business in the local businesses.

The outcome of the contradiction in the concept of neoliberalism is a succession of pressures in the workplaces, which has extended even to the teaching profession. Teachers find it quite problematic to practice their profession with the required integrity. For example, while teachers are to execute their professional duties in the students welfare, they have to limit their teaching to the advancement of the capitalist interests. This essay offers an analysis on the impacts of neoliberalism in the teaching profession in the United Kingdom. The discussion deals with the development of the philosophy, its current societal application, and its role in the limitation of the teachers professional duties. The analysis points out that, despite the problems created by the concept, teachers may have alternative ways to maintain their professional integrity.

Development of Neoliberalism Philosophy

The concept of neoliberalism tries to define all the societal development activities in the view of market. The term, in itself, has the urge to change everything into business, including all the societal aspects. This impulse, when allowed to succeed, will automatically change all the public services into private services. The suffix word-liberal-can be attributed to Adams Smith and the Chicago School of Business. The two defines neoliberalism as a political-economic policy model, proposing that the welfare of humanity can be best achieved by ensuring entrepreneurial freedoms, to strengthen the private property rights and free market.

Neoliberalism received greater growth during Margaret Thatchers administration. Before the development of this ideology, Keynesianism was the governing economic policy, after it had enabled nations to economic foundations after the failure of capitalism. The Keynesian concept holds that government involvement in the development of market policies and spending by the public sector is of great significance to help in resolving the issues associated with capitalism.

At the onset of 1970s, economic environment changed, following the economic crises of the time .As a result, Keynesian policies disintegrated, causing the adoption of neoliberal ideas. Many governments prepared to adopt neoliberal policies. This is because its proponents saw it as the best chance of initiating optimal economic recovery. When Margaret Thatcher assumed power, she championed greater neoliberal reforms. Among the many instances of the reforms are the massive tax cut for the wealthy, reducing or terminating the power of trade unions, improving outsourcing activities, and privatisation of all the public companies.

Among the many factors that facilitated the onset of Neoliberal thinking in the business world are the economic contraction in the 1970s, instability of exchange rate, inflation, and poor investments by the nations. As the events mentioned were taking place, the Chicago School adherents found opportunity to lobby for the disengagement of Keynesian concept in favour of free market policies. They urged for the need to reduce public spending (except for security), reduce taxes on commodities, and to make all government enterprises private (including schools, health, and prisons). Other significantly outstanding proposals included de-unionisation and financialisation. The latter refers to a change from pursuing industry and manufacturing to market speculation.

Regarding the privatisation of public sectors, the state retains the command to build up the safeguard of the institutions. This is usually done by the military and police structures that are deemed fit to secure individual rights, as well as the certification of the ideal working of business sectors. Other than retaining the command over the safeguard of the institutions, it is the administration's duty to privatize open administrations. In the event that business sectors are missing key elements such as manpower, instruction, ecological insurance, and standardized savings, the government takes charge of the welfare of the business sector by state activity (Harvey, 2005, p. 2). However, the administration should not wonder past these roles, but must endeavour to keep their association with the business at bare minimal (Harvey, 2005, p. 2).

Statistics indicate that the scale of economic growth brought about by the application of neoliberal economics cannot be compared to that of the Keynesian era. Though the neoliberal ideology brought limited economic growth, the wealthy minority reaped much benefit from it. Over a long time, and sluggishly, wealth disparities grew steadily as the many began to favour restrictive policies in the educational sector, hopping to promote their capitalist interests and keep the citizens engaged in the work of pursuing a common goal for the good of property owners. At this time in history, it has been proven beyond doubt that the neoliberalism ideology is a complete failure. However, the government continues to project this ineffective ideology, applying them to every economic sector, including education. The results of this persistence in the wrong ideology, especially in the education sector, have negative impacts, since it infringes on the freedom of the educators to practice their profession in accordance with the basic ethical codes.

The Impact of Neoliberal Policies on Contemporary Educational Standards

The proponents of neoliberalism were out to dominate the world, including in the institutes of universal training (Robertson, 2008, p. 2). For more than forty years (four decades) after the reception of neoliberal ideologies, the neoliberal ideal world remained unstable. Truly speaking, many years into the neoliberal system, privatization of economic sectors, and free-advertises strengths, have brought about significant damage to the institutions. (Verhaeghe, 2014, para 1). The opportunities that were to be brought as a result of this philosophy turned out to be mere fantasies.

The expected economic opportunities were just unimportant fantasies. This is evident since the postulated independence ended up being terminated in every societal development aspect. Ideally, the structural change from Keynesian economics to the neoliberal has changed general society. The societal talk about the learners and instructors a, as well as the instructive schemes have been adversely affected (Robertson, 2008, p. 2). It is prudent to pay consider that neo-radicalism lessens the independence of the individual. Through this theory, the legislatures gain control to the lives of tridents and the educators. Neo-radicalism involves interruptions by the government into individuals' lives. By this, the theory, however, facilitates the organization of similar strategies that it claims to contradict.

This contradictory circumstance makes an individual wonder why a similar belief system that guarantees freedom and success in the domain of monetary management cannot yield similar results in training and educational spheres. The major response to this is that legislature and entrepreneurs are only working under some mistaken possibilities. Alternatively, it can be argued that the legislature and entrepreneurs are intentionally pushing for the frameworks that minimize individual self-sufficiency, in order to encourage the frameworks to support them.

Currently, instruction is experiencing increased pressure to coordinate and achieve the aggressive goals which are commonly observed in the globalized markets. Instruction is radically shifting to fit into the neo-liberal schemes that rule the monetary domains with the support the administration. This instructive methodology that should shape the future specialists in private enterprise is the one that also focuses on producing simple workers, instead of empowering them to propel their inventive limits. With this kind of confusion, the essential order for learning institutions is to create a novel type of pioneers and businessmen, who are will be destined to lead the terrible scramble to acquire the bigger share of the accessible riches (Robertson, 2008).

The bourgeoisie is excited about appropriating the limits of the populace. Yet, in this manner, they undermine the instructive strategies that meet could help meet this end. Harver (2000, p.103) records that, "workers are fundamentally distanced on the grounds that their innovative limits are appropriated as the ware work control by business people." thus, specialists need to experience "skilling, deskilling, and re-skilling of the forces of work as per mechanical prerequisites" and the "cultural assimilation to routinisation of undertakings" (Harvey, 2000, p.103). As regarding the contemporary instruction framework, this excitement creates a solitary concentration on producing workers who can adjust and get another arrangement of abilities as they endeavour toward proprietorship.

The researcher (Harvey), further states that, "While training of the worker seems essential, it cannot be the sort of instruction that licenses free considerations." (Harvey, 2000, p. 103). Neo-progressivism, by its own particular produces abuse, and disparity, engages enterprises intensively, and facilitates changes that support the well-off minority. Savage companies are excited about impacting state funded instruction and revenue making. These neoliberal strategies have the sponsorship of intense worldwide gatherings. For instance the World Bank and the Universal Money propels neoliberal arrangements as a precondition for accepting instructive help from them. Therefore, the legislature has secretly financed intrigue aggregates, and coordinated endeavour towards propelling changes and approaches that empower understudies. (Hursh, 2001).

The Impact of Neoliberal Policies on Contemporary Educational Standards

Indispensable to accomplishing neoliberal objectives in accordance with training in the UK, is the urging of schools to embrace institutionalized appraisals, combined with a reward framework which guarantees that educators and understudies stay concentrated on making progress as stipulated by those models. Examination execution is, in this manner, considered as the sign of scholarly achievement. One of the stumbling blocks related with neoliberalism in training is that worldwide rivalry involves general correlation and evaluation. The immediate result of this is that learners are "liable to a pettifogging, smothering administration of evaluation and observation, intended to recognize the victors and rebuff the washouts" (Monbiot, 2016, para 21).

As mentioned earlier, the contradictory circumstances in the theory of neoliberalism makes an individual wonder why a similar belief system that guarantees freedom and success in the domain of monetary management cannot yield similar results in training and educational spheres. The major response to this is that legislature and entrepreneurs are only working...

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