U of A campus & Livestream • November 17–19, 2023
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Concurrent session



November 18, 2018 at 10:30am - 11:45am


Engineering Teaching & Learning Complex (ETLC), University of Alberta
with Barbara Silva and Phil McRae

Alberta Education: The Predictable Path to Privatization

While Alberta's education system has unique traits, it is following a non-unique, predictable path towards privatization, one that is being employed around the world. We will explore the current system, how the marketization of it is not unique and entirely predictable, why this privatization strategy has been so successful and inconspicuous, and what we can do to return to true universality.

Born in Ontario but raised all over Canada, Barbara Silva attended 11 different public and separate schools in Alberta and Ontario. She holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary and worked in the oil & gas industry for six years before pursuing her Master Of Education from the University of Western Ontario in London. After working in the Rockyview School Division for four years, she now volunteers her time to advocate for children’s rights to an accessible, quality and equitable public education with Support Our Students Alberta.

Public Education in Alberta: What? So What? Now What?

This presentation will explore some of the tensions and opportunities for public education in Alberta and the profession of teaching as we move into the second decade of the 21st century. It will also open up a conversation around how schools and their communities are changing across Alberta and their expectations and aspirations in the face of the forces of privatization, standardization, personalization, and datafication of learning.

Dr. Phil McRae is associate coordinator, research with the Alberta Teachers’ Association and adjunct professor within the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta where he earned his PhD. Phil has worked in many secondary and post-secondary educational contexts while living and teaching in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates), Asia (Japan), Europe (Spain), and in Alberta, Canada with the Lethbridge Public School District and at Red Crow College with the Blood Tribe (Kainai First Nation).