Is the customer always right? An examination of neoliberal ideology and its influence on parent-teacher interactions
Master of Education
MetadataShow full item record
This study explores how treating education as a private commodity may affect parent-teacher relationships, including the ways that parents perceive they are treated. The effects of neoliberal ideology on education transform schooling into a commodity and positions students and parents as clients. This research helps to inform both parents as well as teachers about the broader forces that may influence their interactions. Marketplace values shape educational acts and legislation through, for example, the imposition of standardised tests, management of teacher performance, and an increasingly higher-level of accountability. Such policies and procedures entail a shift towards teachers regarding parents more as clients to please or pander to, rather than as partners working together for the good of the children. Through one-on-one interviews with parents, the research question focuses on the examination of how neoliberal ideology might shape parent-teacher interactions and parents' self-perceived role in the schools of their children. Overall, the parents I interviewed did not view education as a commodity and teachers as service providers, but as my literature review demonstrated, there are many parents who do and will continue to make demands of teachers.