The Pied Piper of Neo Liberalism Calls the Tune in the Republic of Ireland: An Analysis of Education Policy Text from 2000-2012

Geraldine Simmie
2000 Teaching Council Act   unpublished
This article offers an analysis of the rhetoric of education policy text during the timeframe from 2000 to 2012 in the Republic of Ireland. The study was framed within two different discourses of the role of the teacher: one discourse regards the teacher as a professional within a dynamic system of democratic relations (Anyon, 2011; Apple, 2012; Ball 2012; Giroux, 1988; Lynch, 1999) while the other discourse regards the teacher as a functionary and technician within a top-down hierarchical
more » ... m of compliance, surveillance and legal edict (Department of). The tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin is used as a metaphor to interrogate education policy within a small peripheral nation at a time of economic austerity coupled with a deepening deficit in vision and democratic values across Europe and the Anglo-American world (Morpurgo, 2011). The study asks who is making the policy, whose interests are being served and what evidence is there of a politics of moral engagement with any of these issues? Findings show that while the tune of neo-liberalism in education policy started off 'pianissimo' in the early 2000s it grew to 'mezzo-forte' by 2006 and reached 'fortissimo' in the period after the bank bailout in November 2010. Irish people continue to remain seduced by the irresistible tune played by the Pied Piper of Neo-Liberalism. Achieving a different world order will require a paradigm shift from competitive individualism to a different logic of collaboration, care and creativity. Similar to the perplexed world of 1895 we now need a new Five E's