Picture of athlete cycling

Open Access research with a real impact on health...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

Explore open research content by Physical Activity for Health...

State education as high-yield investment: human capital theory in European policy discourse

Gillies, Donald (2011) State education as high-yield investment: human capital theory in European policy discourse. Journal of Pedagogy, 2 (2). pp. 224-245. ISSN 1338-2144

[img] PDF
JoP_2_2_224_245.pdf - Final Published Version

Download (236kB)

Abstract

Human Capital Theory has been an increasingly important phenomenon in economic thought over the last 50 years. The central role it affords to education has become even more marked in recent years as the concept of the ‘knowledge economy’ has become a global concern. In this paper, the prevalence of Human Capital Theory within European educational policy discourse is explored. The paper examines a selection of policy documents from a number of disparate European national contexts and considers the extent to which the ideas of Human Capital Theory can be seen to be influential. In the second part of the paper, the implications of Human Capital Theory for education are considered, with a particular focus on the possible ramifications at a time of economic austerity. The paper argues that Human Capital Theory risks offering a diminished view of the person, a diminished view of education, but that with its sole focus on economic goals leaves room for educationists and others to argue for the educational, social, and moral values it ignores, and for the conception of the good life and good society it fails to mention.