The scene of the classroom

Chris Peers
Vol 37, Number 1, p.57
Prakash Nair has made comments about the kind of spatial planning that educationists should make for the purpose of improving, and refining the architectural model of the school that can be adopted in the twenty-first century. These remarks imply that an “old” and out-dated architectural model needs to be replaced by one that is better suited to the kinds of workers that children will become when they graduate, so that schools can more effectively prepare students for the workforce to come. In this article, I argue that his proclamation that “the classroom is obsolete” should be interpreted in the context of neo-liberalism, alongside similarly hyperbolic claims by Francis Fukuyama in 1989 that the fall of the Berlin Wall signified the “end of history”. By addressing the rhetorical structure of such remarks, I deconstruct Prakash Nair’s promise to build a better future for education. Additionally, I argue that educational researchers may benefit from thinking of the classroom as a fictional place, a “scene” that does not always bear identical and universal attributes, owing to the diversity of cultural and geographical contexts in which classrooms are found. classrooms are found.