Sunday, 11 October 2009

New Book: Selling Out - Academic Freedom and the Corporate Market

There's been a new book released entitled: Selling Out - Academic Freedom and the Corporate Market. It is written by University of Saskatchewan Professor Howard Woodhouse.

The promotional excerpt found on McGill-Queen's University Press web-site is reproduced below:

"Selling Out

Academic Freedom and the Corporate Market

Howard Woodhouse

How Canadian universities are abandoning their intellectual independence by capitulating to the interests of big business.

In a powerful defence of the values that define education, Howard Woodhouse uses concrete and vivid examples to show how universities in Canada have been engulfed by the market model of education and how administrators have done little to resist this trend.

Selling Out demonstrates that the logics of value of the market and of universities are not only different but opposed to one another. By introducing the reader to a variety of cases, some well known and others not, Woodhouse explains how academic freedom and university autonomy are being subordinated to corporate demands and how faculty have attempted to resist this subjugation. He argues that the mechanistic discourse of corporate culture has replaced the language of education - subject-based disciplines and the professors who teach them have become "resource units," students have become "educational consumers," and curricula have become "program packages." Graduates are now "products" and "competing in the global economy" has replaced the search for truth.

Challenging the current orthodoxy that the market model is the only way forward, Woodhouse argues that governments have a responsibility to fund universities, recognizing that they are the only places in society where the critical search for knowledge takes precedence.

Review quotes

"Woodhouse argues his case well, providing evidence from several universities and a relevant literature, and showing that the problem he addresses has manifestations throughout the university system in Canada." Patricia Marchak, University of British Columbia

"There can be very few researchers in Canada who know the literature as well as Woodhouse and he draws on it very effectively to support his argument. Selling Out is a powerful defense of the values intrinsically related to universities, and an exceptionally well documented account of the threat to those same values." William Hare, Mount Saint Vincent University

Howard Woodhouse is professor of educational foundations and co-director of the University of Saskatchewan Process Philosophy Research Unit."

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