Writing Assignment 2: Hucksters in the Classroom

Writing Assignment 2: Hucksters in the Classroom

Directions: Read the following case study: “Hucksters in the Classroom” (Case 4.1, pp. 140-1) in your textbook). Once you have finished reading this case study, write a 2-page paper in which you discuss the ways in which industry’s thrust into education is (or is not) consistent with the basic features of capitalism. What moral issues, if any, are raised by the affiliation between education and commercial interests?

Do not waste space retyping the question or summarizing the case studies. Use the space allotted to answer the question.

This paper should be written entirely in your own words. If you must quote from the case studies, quotations should be kept short (no more than 10 words in length). There should not be more than two quotations in this paper. Quoted language must be placed in quotation marks. Failure to do so is plagiarism. Plagiarized assignments will receive a 0, and you will be dropped from the course.

No outside sources of any kind may be used when writing this paper. People using outside sources will not receive credit for this assignment. All the information that you need to answer the question is contained in your textbook and in the class notes.

Papers should be typed, double-spaced with standard margins. Use 12-point Times New Roman type (the same size and font used in these directions). Pages should be numbered and stapled together. No cover page is required.

Papers must be handed in in class. No emailed papers will be accepted. No papers placed under the door to my office or in my mailbox will be accepted. Late papers will not be accepted. The lowest writing assignment grade will be dropped.

CASE 9.4
I-lucksters in the Classroom
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Increased student loads, myriad professional obliga- An integral part of the ABC program is an annual
tions, and shrinking school budgets have sent many essay-writing contest. Essays must deal with some
public school teachers scurrying for teaching materi- aspect of a product in Resom’ce-book~-its produc-
als to facilitate their teaching. tion and marketing, the history or importance of an
They don’t have to look far. Into the breach has industry to a community or nation, and so on. To be
stepped business. which is ready, willing, and able eligible, entries must be signed by a teacher and
to provide current print and audiovisual materials include a product label or reasonable facsimile. Stu-
for classroom use. These activities and industry- dent writers can earn up to $50 for entering.
supplied teaching aids are advertised in educational The people at ABC say they want to reflect the
journals, distributed to school boards, and showcased positive aspects of the world outside the classroom.
at educational conventions. The Dr Pepper Co1t1- And they’re convinced that the way to do it is
pany. for example, displays at such conventions a through depicting the wonders and genius of indus-
recipc booklet titled Coolcfitg with Dr Pepper. Each try. “Thus,” says researcher Sheila Harty, “history is
recipe includes sugar-filled Dr Pepper soda. taught in terms of ‘innovative industrial genius.” as
One collective tack taken by the business commu- students write their essays on the value of soft drinks
nity has been the ABC Education Program of Ameri- (C is for Canada Dry) or the production of tires {G is
can Industry, whose annual publication, Resource- for Goodyear)”
book. consists of product-specific “sponsored pages” Evidently teachers go for corporate freebies with
or ads with accompanying teacher guide sheets. Food all the gusto of a softball player at a company picnic.
and toiletry products are featured, as in the following: In a survey of its members, the National Educational
Association found that about half its members were
A l-‘5 fhl‘ AGREE5 the Cfehle Rlhse ahd C°h‘h’ using industry audiovisual materials and the ten
hoh3T that h3lP-5 the 3133553-‘3« resource guides published annually by Educators Pro-
C is for COCONUT: a tantalizing tropical treat gress Services (EPS}. A cursory look at the guides
from Peter Paul candies. suggests that the offerings are comprehensive and
E is for EFFECTIVE double deodoramsystgmin impartial. A closer look reveals that most are pri-
msh Spring (soapy vately, not publicly, sponsored.
Some people think corporate-sponsored teaching
Advertising space in R€SOIi‘?‘C8b{)(Jk doesn’t come materials do more than fill curriculum needs. They
cheap: A single ad can run as much as $30,000. But are also public relations gambits. Thus. in his book
ABC official Art Sylvie thinks it’s worth it. After all, Corporate Response to Urban Crisis, professor of
lie asks, where else are manufacturers going to get sociology Ken Neubeck writes:
such widespread and in-depth product exposure? He
has a point: About 25; mmion or 35 percent of an Corporations must continually respond to problems
junior high school students in the United States par- which they had 3 hfmd in Creating i“,‘h‘3 hm
ticipmc in the ABC program, not to mention their Prom this perspectix-‘e,‘corporate social respon.<im_’f
95,000 teachcm ity becomes a defensive strategy to be emplo}e;
William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, Mom! l’5stie.t in Busiii.«2.s’s, 5th ed. (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, i992).