Our Schools/Our Selves: Spring 2016

Community Watch? Surveillance, safety and control in Canadian Education
April 15, 2016

This issue of Our Schools/Our Selves explores not only surveillance, but the ways in which control is exerted on and through our education system as well as its workers, teachers and students. We also look more closely at the concept of “safety” and how it often is used as a rationale for more surveillance and less privacy.

This issue expands the conversation of how we talk about control to include streaming and labeling; how surveillance culture is a part of how students and teachers police themselves and each other when it comes to behaviour and appearance; the connections between standardization, data management, and corporatization and implications for privacy (particularly in the broader context of trade agreements and globalization); the rapidly evolving frontier of social media; the impact of a customer satisfaction model of evaluation on professional reputation and job security; the blurred boundaries between personal life and professional responsibility; and the ways in which a corporate model of education can and often does result in the control and silencing of dissenting voices, often when they’re needed the most and directly contradicting the concept of academic freedom.