Graduation Date

5-2015

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

First Reader

Suresh Appavoo, Ed.D.

Second Reader

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

Abstract

Corporate involvement in education has always been a hotly debated issue. Is it a conflict of interests if companies provide material and information to schools? Or is it their civic responsibility and best interest to help promote education in order to create exceptional future employees? As budget cuts continue to devastate public schools throughout the United States, districts and teachers are looking for alternative means to provide the best education that they can. Many corporations are providing additional resources at minimal to no cost to schools, but with what consequences? Corporate created curriculum does not have as rigorous restrictions or overview as state/district adopted curriculum. Companies are essentially allowed to produce whatever they see fit, often leading to biased information and covert advertising. This study takes a critical look at the ethics surrounding the use of corporate-sponsored curriculum in public schools from a teacher perspective. Elementary teachers participated in a survey to research their perspectives on the effects of using corporate-sponsored curriculum within a classroom. Results were mixed, and teachers did not seem aware of the possible ramifications of using corporate-sponsored curriculum in their classroom. Overall, this study found that teachers need to learn more about corporate-sponsored curriculum and its possible effects on students. Teachers, sites, and districts should create a protocol to review commercial materials, and consider both the positive and negative consequences of bringing them into a classroom.

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