What bothers me the most about the Pork propaganda I received is that it seems to be acceptable to send branded curriculum to schools for kids to “learn” from. This is not the first time I received curriculum from a corporation. As I’ve said before, teaching is a political act, and students are consistently learning from what we teachers say, do, the materials and curriculum we bring in, and the materials and curriculum we ignore.
I wonder if the school I attended faced a moral quandary when they decided to broadcast Channel 1 news (12 minutes a day, with at least 4 of those minutes commercials) to all 6th through 12th graders in exchange for a television in every classroom. That’s seven years times 180 school days = 1260 days. Say the commercials were only 4 minutes each day. 1260 * 4 = 5040 minutes or 84 hours of commercials I received at school, many of those for junk food or joining the military.
There are textbooks out there with product placement that are cheaper for school to buy. For example, a math word problem may say, in the more expensive book: Eduardo was buying snacks for a party. There were 14 girls and 12 boys going to the party. The snacks come in packages of 3. How many packages should he buy? But the less expensive book would ask: Eduardo was buying *Brand Name* for a party…… The *Brand* comes in packages of 3. I’m thankful my school has splurged to get the books without product placement.
I understand that we are advertised to all the time, but school should be a refuge from that. Schools should put the best interests of the children at heart, and protect them from corporate branding. Though it may technically be less expensive, we can’t afford to sell out our schools.