ACSA Webinars
Flip the System Australia: What Matters in Education

Bob Lingard, Emeritus Professor and Anna Hogan, Senior Lecturer, School of Education - University of Queensland

Teachers' Perceptions of Commercialisation in Australian Public Schools: Implications for Teacher Professionalism

Wednesday 3 March 2021 7-8pm AEST


Bob Lingard                                 Anna Hogan

Teacher concerns about commercialisation in Australian public schooling

These authors will discuss their chapter reports on a survey conducted with Australian Education Union (AEU) members that sought to investigate the extent of commercialisation in Australian public schooling. Commercialisation is the creation, marketing and sale of education goods and services to schools by private providers. Commercial services commonly include the provision of curriculum content, assessment services, data infrastructures, digital learning, professional development for staff, and school administration support. Out data suggests that commercialisation is now commonplace in Australian public schools.

Commercialisation has had a long history in schools, beginning with commercially produced textbooks which have been around since the early 20th century. Similarly, teachers reported that resources and curriculum materials that supported their development of innovative learning experiences were important still. However, teachers' expressed concern that increasing commercialisation would lead to an intensification of the de-professionalisation of teaching. This chapter explores these concerns and in particular, focuses on teachers' perceptions of how commercialisation is impacting their work, their students' learning and their personal wellbeing.

Teachers' concerns about the growing phenomenon of commercialisation and their argument that they have less autonomy over what to teach and how to teach is, as well as the idea that private providers might replace teachers completely, necessitates the need for urgent public debate about commercialisation in schools and where we should fight to draw the line.

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