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ERIC Number: EJ896270
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 37
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 86
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Manufacturing (Il)Literacy in Alberta's Classrooms: The Case of an Oil-Dependent State
Hodgkins, Andrew
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v8 n1 p262-298 Aug 2010
This paper examines involvement of education-business "partnerships" presently occurring in the province of Alberta, Canada. Specific attention is paid to the promotion and sponsorship by oil multinational corporations (MNCs) of corporate propaganda masquerading as energy and environmental literacy programs targeted for the K-12 school system. The rhetoric of partnerships is explored as a central policy of the provincial government to support big business, while simultaneously retrenching from education funding. These characteristics of neoliberal reforms to education are understood as being symptomatic of structural peculiarities characterizing the political economy of oil-dependent states like Alberta. Using a case study analysis of an educational service provider, I show how oil MNCs and the provincial government are actively involved in curriculum and teacher professional development activities as part of a wider strategy of promoting corporate social responsibility. These partnerships are occurring at a time when energy policy is facing an international legitimacy crisis exacerbated by production of dirty oil from Alberta's immense tar sands reserves. The analysis illustrates how education-business partnerships contribute towards a democratic deficit and undermine basic tenets of education by obstructing access to information. In closing I present alternative energy and environmental literacy programs currently being incorporated into classrooms as examples of practical and effective counter-hegemonic programs that help promote global citizenship through the development of a critical consciousness. (Contains 1 table and 5 footnotes.)
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada