Globalization and the Future of Canadian Education
Book description, 27 November 1997
"The public policy goal to connect all schools to the information highway, to use the tools of the new communications technologies to 'reinvent' education, is the one reform from which, if universally adopted, there is no retreat."
This warning by Marita Moll, head of research and technology with the Canadian Teachers' Federation, sets the tone for Tech High: Globalization and the Future of Canadian Education, a new book that sharply questions the wisdom of turning our schools into computerized employment centres for business.
Edited by Moll, the book is a collection of meticulously researched essays by leading educators who share a deep concern about the current "restructuring" of Canada's institutions of learning. They examine the computer craze, the attacks on schools and teachers, the destructive underfunding of education, and the profit-driven invasion of the classroom by the rapacious private "education industry."
They trace these and other alarming assaults on public education to the growing power of transnational corporations, which want students to be taught how to be compliant workers rather than independent thinkers. At stake, ultimately, the authors maintain, is the preservation of democracy itself.
In addition to Moll, the authors include educators Barrie Barrell of Memorial University in St. John's; Jean-Claude Couture, a high school teacher in Alberta; Larry Kuehn, director of research and technology for the B.C. Teachers' Federation; David Livingstone of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education; Alison Taylor of the University of Alberta; Charles Ungerleider of the Faculty of Education at U.B.C.; and Langdon Winner of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
"This unique collection of essays firmly establishes the link between an 'anytime, anywhere, at-any-cost' devotion to information technology in schools and the 'at-any-price' agenda of corporate power," says Heather-jane Robertson, co-author of Class Warfare: The Assault on Canada's Schools.
The book, a 223-page trade paperback, is co-published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Fernwood Publishing, and sells for $19.95. Copies may be obtained from either of the co-publishers.
Information from Erika Shaker