Ethics & the new education: psychopharmacology, psychometrics, & the future of human capital

Stein, Zachary (2013) Ethics & the new education: psychopharmacology, psychometrics, & the future of human capital. Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 8 (3-4). pp. 146-162.


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This paper explores the ethical impacts of standardized testing and psychopharmacology in order to diagnose the pathologies of human capital theory as an educational meta-theory. Drawing on the work of Ken Wilber and Roy Bhaskar I build an alternative integral meta-theory of education, which is deployed to reveal ethical issues involved with standardized testing infrastructures that center around a principled distinction between efficiency oriented testing practices and justice oriented ones. I argue further that the recent epidemic of psychotropic drug prescriptions for school aged children is dialectically related to the dominance of efficiency oriented testing infrastructures. Looking at the rhetoric and science surrounding the growth of educationally oriented psychopharmacology, I deploy the same meta-theoretical approach to characterize the ethical difference between designing children and raising them. I conclude with a series of provocations and reflections directed at kindling the social imagination and reviving our sense that there are alternatives to dystopian educational futures.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Education > Educational Methods and Practices
Education > Educational Theory
Programs: Education
Depositing User: Zak Stein
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 19:02
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 19:02

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