UBC Graduate Research

Contesting BC's vision of '21st-century education' : a critical discourse analysis Steeves, Tobey


In recent years the Premier’s Technology Council has drawn on the rhetoric of ‘21st-century education’ to frame discussions of educational policy and reform in British Columbia. BC’s Teacher’s Federation, in contrast, has challenged the appropriateness of ‘21st-century education’, and has called for a more systematic interrogation of the contours, coherence, and value of the ‘21st-century’ policy narrative. Acceding to this warrant, this paper builds upon my ongoing inquiry into ‘21st-century education’. Taking the Technology Council’s “special report” on ‘21st-century education’ as a site of analysis, this paper draws on the tools of critical discourse analysis to identify and problematize instances of agency, modality, and validity in the Technology Council’s vision for ‘21st-century education’. In sharing this inquiry I hope to highlight the need for sustained critical engagement with educational policies in BC. [The Explorations & Education Conference is the collaborative effort of graduate student representatives from the Graduate Student Council for the Faculty of Education, the Department of Educational Studies and the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. The goal is to "to create a safe space for the exchange of academic ideas and to create opportunities particularly for graduate students (at all levels of study) to present their ideas and research".]

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