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Looking globally: the future of education
Looking globally: the future of education

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2 Three models for education

You will now study three different ways of thinking about education systems in order to illustrate the different purposes, values and theories that can underpin education, and to consider the consequences of conceptualising education in different ways. These models are not intended to be descriptions of any particular education system, but rather to provide a set of tools that you can use to think about the purpose of education and the implications of different positions on the function of education.

There are many models that could be used to analyse education systems and consider the purposes of education, such as Freire’s Liberation theory (1970) or the Marxist critical approach (Kellner, 1989), but here we will study just three. These three models or theories of education are chosen here because they are ones that you may come across in various contemporary policy documents and discourses.

They are:

  • the human capital model
  • the rights-based model
  • the capability model.