Brand Consumerism

1206 Words 5 Pages
“An education isn 't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It 's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don 't.” – Anatole France

Low-income students typically graduate four grade levels behind their higher-income counterparts (Palardy). Why is this? Is education in under-developed areas suffering because students lack the motivation to achieve excellence? Or are there social factors affecting students’ lives that are incapable of being overcome? Corporations subsidize poor school districts when they cannot support themselves. This leads to students being educated in brand consumerism not high-level literacy. Under-privileged students are also not trained in the art of critical thinking.
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Selling out public education to be branded and packaged by corporations stifles students’ potential to achieve excellence. Basic economics asserts that nothing is truly free; someone must account for the cost of every item. Is education really any different? Channel One, a program that supplies schools with educational technology, is not supplied to provide an education; it is supplied to connect brands with customers. For every twelve minutes of educational programming students watch, they are exposed to three minutes of commercials. Benjamin Barber asserts in The Educated Student, that the primary rule of branding is to hook young people. When someone affiliates with a brand at a young age, he or she will be a permanent consumer of the brand (Barber, 418). Students cannot be educated for the purpose of turning a profit, or expanding a customer base, and be expected to mature into confident leaders of society. In Literacy and the Political Education, C.H. Knoblauch argues that everyone pushes education for personal goals; clerks during the middle ages were educated for the purpose of keeping records for businesses (Knoblauch, 453). Commercialization is not tied completely to the lower classes, however upper-class students possess the advantages of power and money. Because of their connections and social standing, these students appreciate the privilege of deliverance …show more content…
In a world of television, Internet, and video games students constantly absorb ideas many of which are imaginary and must be recognized as such. If they lack critical thinking students have no way to process the information continuously influencing them. The curriculum taught in many lower-income schools inhibits any kind of cognitive growth in students. In her analysis, Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work, Jean Anyon observed that “working-class schools” taught children a process, not to think for themselves (Anyon, 401). In a society where making decisions for oneself relies upon the ability to consider issues and choose the best option, critical thinking is imperative. So many under-privileged children dream of leaving the projects, but without an education equal to that of their peers how can they realize this dream? Children in middle-class and affluent schools are trained heavily in the art of critical thinking. If critical thinking appeared to be an unnecessary skill, it would not be instilled in any students. But common sense declares the importance of critical thinking. It is necessary for voting, jobs, management of funds, and so many other life skills. Every argument for education possesses an antithesis. Knoblauch contends that the functionalist argument is successful because it protects the status quo of power (Knoblauch, 453). But this educational platform extends

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