Neoliberal versus social justice reforms in education policy and practice: discourses, politics and disability rights in education
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This article uses critical discourse analysis in order to discuss the equity and social justice implications of an envisaged education reform agenda in Cyprus, as articulated by two consultation reports commissioned by the World Bank. The reports highlight, inter alia, the imperative to improve teaching and enhance accountability regimes with regard to students’ learning. Selected extracts from these documents are analyzed in order to highlight the absence of a social justice discourse in the rhetoric of educational reforms, despite the alleged centrality of a social justice discourse in official policy. The reports fail to include issues of social justice and learner diversity in discussing the necessity to strengthen the existing teacher policy framework and to mobilize structural educational reforms. This omission is indicative of the neoliberal imperatives that drive the envisaged education policy reforms as well as the low priority attributed to issues of equity and learner diversity, with particular reference to students designated as having special educational needs and/or disabilities.