Education for Development

The concept of education as a form of capital that can be seen in terms of risk/benefit analysis, or alternately as investment and profit or loss, using concepts similar to those used by the actuarial sciences, first became common in the years following WWII, when countries such as the United States, and increasingly as time went on, other “developed” nations began turning from a literal concept of “empire” to a variety of “soft” techniques for influencing other countries, through what Churchill (in Pennycook, 1994) referred to as “empires of the mind.” The idea was that wealthy or developed nations (initially the United States) could press reforms on less- wealthy or “developing” nations that would cause the economies of these nations to expand. This would “pay” the wealthier, “investing” nations back both in terms of political alliances (holding back the spread of communism) and monetarily in terms of trade relations (Lightfoot, 2001). Much of the framework for this way of thinking was developed by macroeconomists working from a Keynesian framework.

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