UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Human capital theory of education Moghtader, Bruce


Since the 1960s, human capital theory has gained prominence by conceptualizing education as one of the central means to increase (public and private) economic output. The theory continues to be relevant in promoting certain values and practices in local and global policies. In the face of growing reliance on technological systems to drive economic growth there is a pressing need to re-examine the value of human learning. The present undertaking is an historical assessment of underlying ideas in schooling humans as economic resources: capital. Ideas pertaining to property and machine as well as freedom and control have contributed to the modern notion of human capital theory. By tracing, contextualizing, and examining an economy applied to human life, the thesis offers an opportunity to deliberate on the verdicts, values and ethics of education, particularly those envisaging human persons as economic resources.

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