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ABSTRACT. This article examines how neoliberalism has impacted public school curricula in Brazil. It does so by highlighting neoliberal elements of education policies as well as presenting data from the author’s ethnographic research on municipal school curricula there. Public school reform in Brazil since the 1990s has been shaped by a confluence of neoliberal and non-neoliberal currents: enhance Brazil’s economic competitiveness in the global market and rectify acute societal problems. While literature has discussed the effects of neoliberal policies on economic growth and poverty and described the “hybrid” neoliberal and non-neoliberal characteristics of public education in Brazil, there is a dearth of inquiry into the implementation of education policies in classrooms. This article exposes problematic contradictions in this vein. Chief among them, neoliberal streams infusing education policies negate the aims of schooling and pedagogical principles touted in curriculum documents. In doing so, they marginalize the contexts that are the alleged core of education reform, the center of urgent urban issues and social justice struggles, and home to the majority of public schools and youth in Brazil. pp. 89–108

Keywords: neoliberalism, public schooling, Brazil, reform, society

STEVEN HALES
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Millikin University

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