Hucksters in the Classroom
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1. Identify the problems identified in the case. Evaluate the options of possible solutions presented by the authors. 2. Have you had any personal experience with industry-sponsored educational materials? What moral issues, if any, are involved in the affiliation between education and commercial interests? Does commercial intrusion into schools change the nature of education? What values and beliefs does it instill in children? 3. Do you think students have a “moral right” to an education free of commercial indoctrination? If you were a parent of school-age children, would you be concerned about their exposure to commercials and corporate propaganda? 4. If you were a member of a school board contemplating the use of either industry-sponsored materials or Channel One, what would you recommend? 5. Do you think industry in general and Channel One in particular are intentionally using teachers and students as a means to profit? Or do they have a genuine concern for the education process? On the other hand, if teachers and students benefit from these educational materials or from viewing Channel One, is there any ground for concern? 6. What was the author’s recommend solution? Do you agree or disagree with their recommendation? Why or why not? Hucksters in the Classroom.docx
1. One of the major problems identified in this case, is the fact that the many inadequacies in the school system in reference to providing teachers with the material that they need to adequately educate students, has led to a situation in which teachers are utilizing many outside sources in order to supplement the teaching material that they have. In doing so, school systems and teachers across the nation have utilized materials developed by businesses in order to supposedly help their students with academic curriculum, but these materials contain a great deal of advertising data as well. It appears that many businesses in America are utilizing the teaching aids that they produce as a method by which to advertise their products to students. In addition, some media corporations are utilizing the electronic equipment that they provide to many schools, as a bargaining tool by which to leverage the broadcast of their supposedly educational material to students. Although educational material is utilized in the vast majority of these broadcasts, a great deal of advertisement is also shown to the students during these broadcast.
2. My personal experience with industry sponsored educational materials, includes the fact that many of the textbooks that we use contain advertisements for the subsidiary companies of the companies that actually produce the textbooks. I believe that the main moral issue that is involved with the affiliation between education and commercial interests, is the fact that it is immoral to seek to influence public schoolchildren to purchase goods and products from an organization in a subversive and deceptive manner, by utilizing the educational material that is supposed to be helping those students to understand their academic curriculum. Commercial intrusion into schools does change the nature of education, due to the fact that the commercial intrusion seems to take some of the children’s focus away from their academic disciplines, in order to engage them in the process of deciding the efficacy of purchasing the products and services that are offered to them. I think that the commercial intrusion into schools, instills the value and belief that consumerism is king in this country, and the misguided belief that the consumption of products is equally important to education.
3. I believe that children have a moral right to an education free of commercial indoctrination, due to the fact that they should have the right to focus solely on education during school hours. As a parent I would be thoroughly concerned about my child’s exposure to corporate propaganda, due to the fact that children are very impressionable, and should not be exposed to this type of propaganda without parenting guidance, etc.
4. I would recommend that the school system not utilize industry sponsored material or channel 1, due to the level of exposure to corporate propaganda that these two sources of educational material expose students to. I would suggest that the school system utilize alternative noncorporate based sources of educational material for students.
5. I do believe that industry in general, and channel one in particular, are intentionally using students and teachers as a means to profit, due to the fact that these individuals know that this intense level of advertisement and propaganda will invariably result in increased purchases by students and teachers alike. Even if teachers and students benefit from the educational materials and viewing channel 1, there are tremendous grounds for concern over the advertising and propaganda that the teachers and students are being exposed to, which has a detrimental effect on the educational process.
6. The author does not recommend a solution to the problem in this case, but I would recommend that school systems utilize non-promotional materials to students that are provided by strictly educational, or non-profit organizations, and that any media sources that are utilized be obtained from a nonprofit organizations as well.