The Limits to Reform: A Critical Discussion of the Saskatoon Public School Board's Assessment Controversy

Robert J. LeBlanc

Abstract


This article presents a critical discussion of the controversy surrounding the perceived changes to the Saskatoon Public School Board’s assessment policy in September 2010.  Utilizing Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 2005; Gee, 2005) and a critical framework of curriculum reform (Apple, 1996, 2000), an analysis of media representations, government statements, and curriculum documents suggests that the general public outcry, the Saskatoon Public School Board’s reaction to the controversy, and the government’s response exemplify a tacit understanding of the socialization purposes of school in preparing students for the world of labour.  This article further examines the influence of "conservative modernization" (Apple, 1996; Lankshear & Gee, 1997; Gee, Hull, & Lankshear, 1996) on Saskatchewan educational policies and the capacity of Saskatchewan schools to innovate.

Keywords: critical discourse analysis; critical framework; curriculum reform; socialization; educational policies


Keywords


critical discourse analysis; critical framework; curriculum reform; socialization; educational policies

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