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ERIC Number: EJ1121391
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov-26
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1207-7798
Towards Customized Privatization in Public Education in British Columbia: The Provincial Education Plan and Personalized Learning
Sen, Vicheth
Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, n180 p135-168 Nov 2016
Corporate school reform is a global movement that is gaining a growing momentum. Central to this reform agenda is "personalized learning," presented by its advocates as a better alternative to the traditional model of schooling. In spite of its appealing possibilities for education and society, scholars in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom have criticized personalized learning for its reductive conceptualization of education. Focusing critically on the new Education Plan of British Columbia, which places personalized learning at its core, this paper examines the genealogy of the Education Plan and discusses its implications for public education in the province. Through construction of a network of actors and content analysis of key documents produced by the public and private sectors, the paper shows that the vision of the Education Plan is largely influenced by a broader neoliberalism-oriented social imagination reinforced by a network of political, social, and economic actors. The analysis shows that this vision for education promotes a perception of education primarily conceptualized in narrow economic terms. The discourse and practice employed to promote personalized learning contribute to turning education into a customizable consumer product, reduce the notion of "learning" to a list of skills and attributes, disregard the significant importance of socio-cultural contexts in teaching and learning, and minimize the crucial role of the teacher. The article concludes that the Education Plan has created a conducive environment for the emergence of "customized privatization" in public education in the province.
Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba. Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada. Tel: 204-474-9004; Fax: 204-474-7564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A