Schools as factories: the limits of a metaphor

Davis, R. A. , Conroy, J. C. and Clague, J. (2020) Schools as factories: the limits of a metaphor. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 54(5), pp. 1471-1488. (doi: 10.1111/1467-9752.12525)

[img] Text
225735.pdf - Accepted Version



This essay examines a longstanding and recurrent metaphor in the representation of schools in modern society: the school as factory. Tracing this figure to the rise of philanthropic schools provided by factory owners from the early stages of the British industrial revolution, the essay surveys its uses both in the historical sources and in later critical‐theoretical analyses commonly informed by the work of Michel Foucault. While acknowledging the frequent validity of the metaphor in specific historical conjunctures, the essay also questions its overapplication past and present, to the exclusion of other symbolic constructions of the school with deeper origins and wider salience for the practice of education. The essay concludes with a reminder that the reproduction of governing metaphors in the historical and cultural study of educational institutions should always be treated with philosophical caution.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Conroy, Professor James and Davis, Professor Robert and Clague, Ms Julie
Authors: Davis, R. A., Conroy, J. C., and Clague, J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Educational Leadership & Policy
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Professional Learning and Leadership
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:Journal of Philosophy of Education
ISSN (Online):1467-9752
Published Online:27 November 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
First Published:First published in Journal of Philosophy of Education 54(5):1471-1488
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record