Abstract / Description of output
In contemporary societies, there is a strong push toward seeing education as an instrument for the delivery of particular societal agendas. On such a view, the only questions that remain are how effective education is at delivering such agendas and how its effectiveness can be increased. While this might be a desirable way forward for those who believe that a consensus about the agenda for education can easily be achieved, it is at odds with the idea that a democratic society is characterized by a fundamental plurality of visions about what schools are supposed to be for. Yet the democratic critique of educational instrumentalism cannot be confined to giving each and every vision its own school, as this would simply multiply educational instrumentalism rather than oppose it. A true democratic response thus needs to take education's own interest seriously as well, which, as Gert Biesta argues in this paper, amounts to a defense of the school as institution.