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Miseducating for the Global Economy: How Corporate Power Damages Education and Subverts Students’ Futures


All across the United States, corporations, politicians, economists, educators—and now, most remarkably, Ivanka Trump—cry out for new “education for the twenty-first century economy.” Meanwhile, millions of Americans face increasing difficulty finding well paying, secure jobs. But the current employment crisis is not so much due to the educational system as it is to a sustained corporate effort to keep the public in ignorance about the damage wrought by the global economy itself. Miseducating for the Global Economy reveals that behind the going concern for “global economy education” lies capitalism’s metastasizing indifference to human values, to a fair distribution of resources, to its radical restructuring of workplaces with an attendant intensification of work effort, and to the genuine well-being of workers and their families.

Gerald Coles’s book provides a real education about the twenty-first-century global economy—and what corporations are doing to prevent our learning about it. Corporations and business organizations, for instance, resolutely withhold massive wealth that could be used to fund more realistic occupational education, even as they skew educational curricula away from too much global economic awareness. Coles describes the intellectually narrow and morally crippling effects of the corporate-control of education; how the imperative for profit maximizes the misunderstanding of communities, nations, and the environment, even as it minimizes aesthetic appreciation, cultural expression, compassion itself. But it is by understanding all this, Coles argues, that real change can begin. Using this analysis, educators, parents, educational organizations, and activists can finally begin to craft schooling that truly serves students and advances global humanity.

Gerald Coles offers telling details on the deceit bombarding us in the name of Global Economy promises—blaring from Silicon Valley as well as Washington, D.C. His explanation of why our very survival depends on this fight, and strategies for engaging in it, makes for important reading.

—Susan Ohanian, educational activist; author, Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools?

U.S. schools are blocked from realizing their democratic task—to enable all students to explore, develop and realize their potentials. Global capitalism imposes a different, profit-oriented task on them—to produce workers and consumers who accept the jobs, wages, and lives it offers. This important book confronts and challenges this fundamental contradiction of education today.

—Richard D. Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Gerald Coles dismantles the vision of schooling celebrated by corporations—and their friends—that schools should prepare children for ‘a world of perpetual competition.’ He shows that this glib prescription quickly becomes a hammer of blame when, inevitably, not all children succeed in the cutthroat arena of global capitalism. Anyone who cares about schools and young people and justice will find Miseducating for the Global Economy a welcome blast of wisdom and commonsense. Teachers desperately need the context that Coles provides to help defend and transform our schools.

—Bill Bigelow, Curriculum Editor, Rethinking Schools, Co-director, Zinn Education Project

A deftly argued, thoughtful and thought-provoking analysis of the detrimental role corporations have played with respect to public education, as well as a clarion call for countering it in an Age of Trump where corporate influence with the Department of Education is so dominant, Miseducating for the Global Economy is a compelling study and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Issues in Education collections and supplemental studies lists.

—Midwest Book Review

Praise for Coles’s Reading Lessons: The Debate over Literacy

His ideas open up possibilities that could change how teachers teach and perhaps boost the literacy rate for future generations.

—Library Journal

Gerald Coles is an educational psychologist who has written extensively on literacy, learning disabilities, and the politics of education. Among his books are Reading Lessons: The Debate over Literacy and Reading the Naked Truth: Literacy, Legislation, and Lies. His articles have appeared in the Harvard Educational Review, Science & Society, the APA’s Journal of Peace Psychology, as well as in many other education, psychology, and political journals.

SKU: mrp6905 Categories: , , , Tags: ,
Topics: Education Places: United States

Publication Date: June 2018

Cloth ISBN: 978-1-58367-691-2

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-58367-690-5

Number of Pages: 256

eBook ISBN: 978-1-58367-692-9