Education reform in Mexico: neo-liberalism, 'schizophrenia' and the ethical challenge within the agendas for educational change

  • Charles Stephen Keck


This article attempts to place the Mexican education reform signed into law in 2013 within the context of a global neo-liberal teacher quality discourse. The schizoid nature of neo-liberal reform is singled out as particularly problematic and relevant to the Mexican case in which teachers are simultaneously positioned as responsible, autonomous professionals capable of leading educational change, and as a collective body in need of ‘policing’ through evaluation. It is argued that the tensions and ambiguities of this situation, and the coercive component of evaluation, means that substantive educational change through teacher transformation cannot be guaranteed, and that adaptation and simulation among teachers is a more probable outcome. Given this situation I argue that we need to foresee the reform’s failure ‘on the ground’ and to start looking for approaches to teacher development and change that go beyond the traditionally technical approach to teacher training by wholeheartedly embracing the ethical component of teacher experience. Consequently, I argue, research in Mexico needs to be bringing ‘real-life’ teacher experience to the forefront of the educational debate and working hard to develop, document and position alternative approaches to teacher education that engage the whole teacher (heart, body, mind and spirit) in a radical reappraisal of what teaching and learning might come to mean for themselves and their students.


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Biografía del autor/a

Charles Stephen Keck

PhD in Education, Institute of Education, University of London. Researcher at Department of Society and Culture, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur. His research interests are teacher identity, teacher formation, professional ethics, reflexivity, practices and technologies of the self.

Artículos teóricos (ensayos y revisiones sistemáticas), sección abierta