Australia: teachers are wary of increasing commercialisation in public schools

A new report reflects teachers’ concern about the influence of commercialisation in schools on everything from the provision of tests through professional development courses for educators

Education technology companies are reaping growing financial benefits from developing standards and data infrastructure in schools according to the studynbspCommercialisation in Public Schooling launched today bynbspthe Australian Education Union - New South Wales Branch ldquoSignificant amounts of commercial activity are taking place in public schools in Australiardquo said Greg Thompson during the presentation of the study today in the region of New South Wales Thompson an Associate Professor of Education Research at the Queensland University of Technology is one of the co-authors of the report alongside Bob Lingard and Anna Hogan University of Queensland and Sam Sellar Manchester Metropolitan University The survey involved 2193 teachers and school leaders across the country who showed a growing concern about this increasing lsquocreeprsquo of commercialism into public schooling The report reveals schools are now forced to buy-in a substantial volume of educational products and services that were once provided by education departments These include Lesson plans Reading programs Curriculum content Assessment services Online learning programs Student data packages Exam preparation materials Professional development for staff School administration support Education as a business The survey revealed private providers use sophisticated marketing campaigns and lobbying strategies to ensure their products and services were taken up by schools and governments New South Wales NSW Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron said the report sounded a warning for parents teachers governments and education administrators ldquoParents and teachers should be concerned at the shadowy practices of the powerful education business corporations They see schooling purely in terms of a potential market so they work to influence government education policies in order to create and then control that marketrdquo said Mulheron ldquoIt is time that all commercial contracts that are signed between governments and these corporations are released for public scrutiny Parents teachers and the community have a right to know who is influencing education policy what impact this is having on how students are taught and how much public money these companies are receivingrdquo he said

[Thu, 06 Jul 2017 13:38:00 +0200] | DIGG THIS

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