Civic professionalism: teacher education and professional ideals and values in a commercialised education world

Aug. 15, 2007

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Volume 33, Issue 3 August 2007, pages 379 - 395

The last three decades have seen an intensification of commercialisation throughout the public sector in general and state schools in particular. Policies designed to introduce business ideologies, structures and practices have operated in tandem with a push to include the corporate world in the running, governance and provision of educational services. Together these policy instruments are eroding the influence and power of education professionals and precipitating a transformative shift in the nature of public education.

A specific threat which these policies may encourage is the use of corporate propaganda techniques targeted at schools which may harm children, undermine the proper purposes of education, subvert the moral and social fabric of school life and damage the foundations of civil society.

This paper argues that educators must recognise the dangers of commercialised schools and organise to protect civic education, speak up for its values and preserve the distinctiveness of educational practice operating within non-commercialised public spaces. Such a strategy also offers the opportunity to redefine the central role of educators as servants of the twin professional ideals of children's civic welfare and democratic citizenship.

Updated: Dec. 18, 2007