What justifies allowing a corporate return on education?

Not my question, one by Stephen Downes. It seems that those whom have benefitted most from the ‘revolution’ so far are not classroom teachers, not educational developers, instructional designers, accessibility and so on, but corporate brands. Not just well known brands such as Microsoft, Apple and Google, but the constellation of ‘personal-brands’ who have provide expert lectures, workshops and advice on the side … which each year consumes more and more money, while under-employment of full-time workers (who want to work inside the system) is rising. The thing kids want are people to trust who stick around. Recently people speak and barely stay long enough to hand over their invoice.

For the win people, not the fekking corporate greed and self-interest.


4 thoughts on “What justifies allowing a corporate return on education?

  1. I don’t think that is a fair comment. Just because you don’t want to work inside the system, doesn’t mean you don’t have the same commitment and belief in high quality education. I got out of the system because I could no longer stand the inefficient, ineffective and unmotivated people around me. I like to think (maybe deluded) that I have provided more value as a person who can assist teachers without the restrictions of working within the system. I admire educators who work within the system and remain dedicated despite all of the crap that is thrown their way but I also believe that outside knowledge and skill is critical to ensure that the system is exposed to external ideas and concepts. I really don’t care who that is as long as they have something to offer of value.

    • I somewhat agree – however there is a level of showmanship (which lack of evidence and accountability). It guess that comes with the overall US-Presidential approach. Then there is the seriously dubious practice of being an Apple/Google ‘teacher’. I totally agree Darren, inside the system, the environment can be equally gaslighted too. It take balls to walk out and work for yourself – but I find the way Australia imports highly paid speakers baffling. They broke their system.

  2. The point I am making in my original post (here: https://plus.google.com/109526159908242471749/posts/4vG5EZMMeL9 ) is that the trend toward commercializing education supposes that corporations could make a profit off education, which is false – education is so expensive, it requires massive government support to provide for everyone, and corporate investments are designed not to support that objective, but to tap into that government money, often at the expense of the very programs government is funding.

    • Thanks. It raises to me further questions, as these commercial companies are also brands, and building brand value leads to profit. The fact that they might not make point to point cash in education, is not as important to them as their ability to influence the commercial buying habits of families and individuals more broadly. I’m calling this “brandification” where by institutions (and prominent teachers) routinely act as brand-promotors. Given educators (teachers) are supposedly ‘trusted’ entities in society – this is a modern update on the 1980’s advertising pitch though magazines and TV on how a computer will ‘educate’ a child and prevent them being dullards for life. I agree, the key objective here is simply to take the funding and then use it to build the brand. In Australia, that has been a $3billion dollar campaign running since 2007. No significant improvements to education have been reported – and for educators themselves – there is now a significant level of ‘under employment’ in K12 and massive ‘casualisation’ of the workforce in HE.

      But we all have iPads now. 🙂 Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.

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