Meeting the challenges of 21st century education: Neoliberalism, vocational education, and critical media literacy
Term of Award
Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)
Document Type and Release Option
Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Committee Member 1
Ming Fang He
Committee Member 2
Committee Member 3
Daniel E. Chapman
Committee Member 3 Email
This dissertation utilizes the speculative essay to address the unsuitability of contemporary curriculum for the challenges our time. That is, in a world where neoliberalism reigns we are living at the cusp of frightening political and economic changes, but the curriculum in schools does not prepare youth for existing and foreseeable challenges. Particularly, these deviations may be observed within the U.S. economy in increasing trends of automation and offshoring of labor. Moreover, these obstacles for individuals in the U.S. are compounded by misleading qualities of media, obstructing informed democratic participation to bring about government policies helpful to most individuals. Further, the decline of the average individual in the U.S. is abetted by a general curriculum, alienating to many students, and through disconnect on education policy between government, public educational institutions, individuals, and private firms in which privatization ventures benefit, rather than students. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is discussion of threatening neoliberal policies and necessary curriculum reforms to prioritize student awareness, engagement, and skill development for best life outcomes in increasingly challenging times. As such, this dissertation advocates for substantive inclusion of critical media literacy in the curriculum, serious consideration of the interests of the learner, earlier and more accessible skills training, and significant revision to social science curriculum. However, this dissertation also expresses doubt concerning policy makers’ inclusion of similar reforms.
Fitzner, J. (2017). Meeting the challenges of 21st century education: Neoliberalism, vocational education, and critical media literacy (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA.
Research Data and Supplementary Material