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Commercialism And Our Children Essay

2892 words - 12 pages

This paper was a research synthesis paper . I was to pick a topic within Education and review the literature on it.I presented the information and formed my opinion based on the research which I reviewed.Commercialism and our ChildrenIntroduction:North Americans are saturated with advertisements on radio, television, in the newspaper, on billboards, on the Internet and with Logos on clothes and shoes. Everyday the average citizen in North America views a full hour of commercials (Molnar, 1996, p.3). There are very few places one can go to escape from the constant barrage of advertising. Although the concept of advertising or selling goes back thousands of years the methods and mediums in which corporations are using to get their message out are new.Children have not been an exception to this barrage of advertising. Moreover, children have become the focus of much of the corporate advertisements and marketing because of their access to disposable income and their influence over adult spending habits.Recent figures pin adolescent spending at 72 billion per annum for all kids through high school (Labi, 2000,p.1). Advertisers and marketers, in search of new ways to reach the youth market, are now involved in partnerships with schools and school districts to sell, advertise, and conduct market research with students.Commercial activities in schools, the commercialization of school activities, and corporate involvement in schools (which happens in many different ways) all refer to activities in schools that involve advertising, marketing, and financial contributions byCorporations.Many authors and educators (such as Alex Molnar) have argued that commercialization of the Public education system will come at a cost to the students; valuable teaching time will be lost to marketing and advertising. Moreover, many authors contend the corporate goal is to make profit, not to educate. Thus, commercialization of school activities creates moral decisions that teachers, school administrators, parents, community members, and business people must contend with.The General Accounting Office (GAO) in the United States recently published a report on Commercial Activities in Schools. The British Columbia Teacher's Federation (BCTF) recently conducted a province wide survey on corporate involvement in B.C. schools. The BCTF also sponsored A three-day conference titled Public Education: Not for Sale! The financial commitment to raising awareness to corporate involvement in Public Education and the commercialization of Public schools highlights the importance of this issue. This was the first survey undertaken by the BCTF and it will be used as a baseline for reporting trendsMuch more research on the level of corporate involvement in schools has been conducted in the United States than in Canada. The BCTF survey conducted in spring 2000 was the first in its field. Many organizations such as the Center for the Analysis of Commercialism in Education (CACE) and the Center...

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