Special Series E2: Public Conversations About Privatization-Provincial Privatization

Special Series E2: Public Conversations About Privatization-Provincial Privatization

Through this four episode special series of Public Good, Stephen and Shannon speak to presenters from a SSHRC funded symposium, Public Conversations About Privatization: Rejecting the Marketization of Public School Systems in Canada. The symposium, held on May 26 & 27th, 2023, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), brought together academics, educators, activists and community groups from across Canada to discuss: a) the ideological motivations of educational reforms; b) the way these reforms are manifesting “uniquely” in each province; and c) the political and community resistance to the reforms. The two-day symposium included ten thought provoking presentations on the three symposium themes (ideological motivations, provincial privatization, resistance). Through this special podcast series, we will speak to presenters from within each theme. In this second episode of the special series we speak to Adamo di Giovanni (U of Windsor, PhD student), Heather Ganshorn (SOS Alberta) and Ellen Bees (P4PE) about the provincial privatization. This theme was intended to demonstrate how privatization is manifesting “uniquely” across the provinces, but also to demonstrate how these supposed distinctions between provinces reveal similar motivations and tactics.

Guest Bios
Adamo Di Giovanni is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor. His dissertation research investigates how neoliberalism and capitalism shape contemporary education discourse and policy. He explores how education policy might evolve toward collectivism and community as a way to address inequality and more effectively deal with 21st century social, environmental, and economic issues. Adamo is currently a Research Assistant on a SSHRC Insight Grant examining the educational impact of mis/dis/information. Adamo is also an Ontario elementary school Vice-Principal within the Greater Toronto Area with over 15 years of experience in elementary schools.

Heather Ganshorn is the Research Director for Support Our Students Alberta, a volunteer organization that advocates for an equitable and accessible public education system. SOS believes that privatization threatens public education by diverting dollars from accountable systems that serve all children to unaccountable private providers who serve a customer niche rather than the public interest. Heather has written a number of media articles and op eds on current issues related to privatization and curriculum in Alberta. She is also an academic librarian at the University of Calgary, with experience in research support and knowledge synthesis.

Ellen Bees is a grade seven educator in Manitoba. She is a community organizer with People for Public Ed, working with the aim to promote consistent and substantive funding of public schools in Manitoba. She recently published her Master’s thesis Manitoba Education Reforms, White Settler Discourses, and the Marginalization of Indigenous Perspectives (2022) at the University of Manitoba, which examines how neoliberal discourses of learning and achievement work to marginalize Indigenous perspectives within Manitoba education reform documents. Her research has focused on the education reform movement in Manitoba, including “Cultural Capital and Cultural Community Wealth: A Critique of the BEST Report” (2021) and “Culturally Unresponsive: The Manitoba Education Review and Colonial Perspectives” (2021), which was co written with Shannon D. M. Moore.

Bees, E. (2022). Manitoba education reforms, white settler discourses, and the marginalization of Indigenous perspectives. http://hdl.handle.net/1993/36814

Bees, E., & Moore, S. D. M. (2021). Culturally Unresponsive: The Manitoba Education Review and Colonial Perspectives. Inform-Ed. https://inform-ed.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Culturally-Unresponsive-The-Manitoba-Education-Review-and-Colonial-Perspectives.pdf

Ganshorn, H. (2023, January 23). Populism, Polarization and Privatization in Alberta Education. The Monitor. https://monitormag.ca/articles/populism-polarization-and-privatization-in-alberta-education/

Ganshorn, H. (2022, November 8). Undermining public education. Education Forum. https://education-forum.ca/2022/11/08/undermining-public-education/

Ganshorn, H., & Moussa, M. (2022, September 1). Beware “privatization creep” in education system. Leaderpost. https://leaderpost.com/opinion/heather-ganshorn-medeana-moussa-beware-privatization-creep-in-education-system

Parker, L. (2017). Creating a Crisis: Selling Neoliberal Policy Through the Rebranding of Education. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 183, Article 183. https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cjeap/article/view/31168

Parker, L. (2021, April 5). Ontario’s ‘choice’ of fully online school would gamble on children for profit. The Conversation. http://theconversation.com/ontarios-choice-of-fully-online-school-would-gamble-on-children-for-profit-158292


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Shannon D. M. Moore

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba

Shannon D.M. Moore is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at The University of Manitoba. Prior to joining the faculty, Shannon was a social studies and English teacher in the public school system in British Columbia for 19 years. Shannon is a public education advocate, and a founding member of People for Public Education Manitoba (@PublicEdMB). Moore’s research interests include media and digital literacies in the social studies classroom, the impacts of online learning on teachers and teaching, and the impacts of neoliberalism on public education.

Stephen Hurley

Chief Catalyst voicEd Radio Canada

Stephen Hurley has spent nearly 40 years as an educator. He has experience as a classroom teacher, a curriculum consultant, a teacher educator and a policy observer. As the founder and chief catalyst at voicEd Radio, Hurley is passionate about nurturing stronger relationships between education research, practice and policy.