Preface to Quebec Education in the Context of Globalization

Education for the World, Education for All
February 1, 2009

This is the Preface of the CCPA 'Our Schools/Our Selves' publication: Education for the World, Education for All: Education in the Context of Globalization edited by Jocelyn Berthelot.

Click here to access the publication page.

Preface to the English edition

From the author:

wrote this book in 2005-2006, while I was still working in the research
department of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), a labour
federation that notably includes most of the education workers in
school boards as well as some of those in cegeps. I want to express my
gratitude to the CSQ for their support and for allowing me all the time
and freedom I needed to undertake such a task.

I would also
like to acknowledge the help I received from many colleagues at the CSQ
who generously gave me the benefit of their expertise and their
criticisms, the valuable work of the technical assistants at the
Resource Centre, and the unflagging support of the secretarial staff.
Finally, my thanks are due to my primary reader, Marie Gagnon, who did
so much to make this work more of a pleasure to read.

In the two
years since the French publication appeared, neoliberal politics have
continued to plague the process of globalization. Despite a few
setbacks and temporary retreats, the politics of privatization and
liberalization still dominate the public sphere in many countries. Nor
have resistance efforts buckled either; the recent failure of WTO talks
is ample evidence of that.

In education, the major trends
analyzed in this book have not deviated from their course.
Privatization, the commercialization of educational activities, the
exacerbation of inequality through school choice, and competition
between schools have all gathered strength.

Even so, some
revisions were necessitated by important events and new policies. So
the text has been updated slightly. But it was not possible to give a
full account of the research published since the first edition for
every topic discussed. However, there is nothing to show that the data
underpinning the analysis that follows have been thrown into doubt by
the publication of new studies. Quite the reverse; the publications of
the last two years seem to confirm the results of earlier work.

conclude, I wish to thank the whole team at Our Schools/Our Selves,
Erika Shaker of the CCPA for coordinating the edition, and especially
David Clandfield for agreeing to take this on and for providing an
excellent translation.

I consider it an honour that through this
book I can make a contribution to the CCPA’s work in exposing the
commodification of all human endeavours, including education.

Jocelyn Berthelot
October 2008

Berthelot began his career as a teacher. From 1977 until his retirement
in 2007 he worked as a researcher for the Centrale des syndicats du
Québec (CSQ). During this time he participated in all the major
educational debates in Quebec including: public funding of private
schools, programs for the gifted, and intercultural education. He is
the author of numerous articles, and four books in French, several of
which propose new paths for democratic education.

From the Translator:

want to add my thanks to Erika Shaker for her support, to BCTF for
funding this work and to George Martell for rekindling my interest in
education politics after the long exile that followed my frustrations
with the Rae Government. I particularly thank Jocelyn Berthelot for
being such an obliging and attentive author. He gave me a free hand,
but even so checked everything in a spirit of solidarity. Thanks to
him, I did avoid some embarrassing mistranslations. Needless to say,
any that remain are my responsibility alone. Finally my thanks as ever
to Sandra for her patience and understanding once more.

David Clandfield
October 2008

Clandfield is Professor Emeritus of French at the University of
Toronto. A founding editor of Our Schools / Our Selves, he has written
on education politics and translated the writings of progressive
pedagogues from France and Quebec. He served as a school trustee in the
1980s and as
an adviser to the NDP in Ontario until parting company
with them in 1993 over his opposition to standardized testing and the
social contract.

From the Executive Editor:

CCPA is so pleased to have the opportunity to make this excellent book
by Jocelyn Berthelot available to our members and to an
English-speaking audience through David Clandfield’s precise and
eloquent translation. Our sincere thanks to the British Columbia
Teachers’ Federation for their financial assistance, to Larry Kuehn and
George Martell for their involvement throughout this process, and to
VLB Éditeur.

In addition to marking the 20th anniversary of
Our Schools/ Our Selves, the release of the English edition of
Education for the World, Education for All: Quebec Education in the
Context of Globalization represents the beginning of an occasional
series of books in collaboration with Everybody’s Schools : An
Education Policy Institute. We look forward to the opportunity to
augment the work of the CCPA and Our Schools / Our Selves through this
relationship, and to make the excellent work by internationally-renown
authors such as Jocelyn Berthelot even more widely available.

Erika Shaker
October 2008