We conduct a critical discourse analysis of the extent to which Sustainable Development Goal 4, “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all and promote lifelong learning,” promotes a utilitarian and/or transformative approach to education. Our findings show that despite transformative language used throughout the Agenda, the SDGs primarily espouse a pro-growth model of development and a utilitarian approach to education. We conclude that for SDG 4 to truly contribute to sustainable development and transformation, there must be a shift in the dominant educational discourse so that issues of social and environmental justice are placed at the heart of educational priorities. Ultimately, present a cautionary note to the euphoria surrounding these goals by exposing the extent to which SDG4 is inconsistent with transformative education.
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies
critical discourse analysis, education policy, Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, transformation, Utilitarian
Mitter, Radhika and Brissett, Nigel O.M., "For Function or Transformation? A Critical Discourse Analysis of Education Under the Sustainable Development Goals" (2017). Sustainability and Social Justice. 56.
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This article is posted here for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, vol. 15, no. 1, 2017, http://www.jceps.com/archives/3326.