In this chapter, we investigate two aspects of post-truth in education. The first derives from the philosophical work of Jacques Ranciçre, and the second derives from an analysis of meritocratic ideology in contemporary education. In both cases, we find that education has been producing a certain ‘truth’ about truth. Ranciçre’s work contrasts the hidden explanatory function of education, which presupposes a collective or shared sense of truth, with the arbitrariness of language as the social mechanism for understanding or determining such truth. This understanding is useful when applied to the case of meritocracy, as we discuss in the second part of this essay, as meritocratic ideology lays a framework in schools for the production of truth. Schooling bolsters, explains and emulates a meritocratic view of the world. In doing so, truth itself gets linked to meritocracy. We conclude this chapter by reflecting on an example of Donald Trump’s notion of the level playing field, briefly commenting on how the persistence and strength of meritocratic ideology in education are tied to a post-truth order.
Besley, T., Peters, M. A., & Rider, S. (2018, January 1). Afterword: Viral modernity: From postmodernism to post-truth? Post-Truth, Fake News: Viral Modernity Higher Education. Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-8013-5