Defending and Strengthening Public Education as a Common Good

Toward Cross-Border Advocacy


  • Shannon Dawn Maree Moore The University of Manitoba
  • Ee-Seul Yoon The University of Manitoba
  • Melanie Janzen The University of Manitoba



privatization, public education, neoliberalism


For decades, there has been a well-coordinated effort to unmake public education in Canada and around the globe. Neoliberal reformers have undermined public education through increased privatization, marketization, and managerialism. Government austerity measures have shaped policy that falsely necessitates, validates, and legitimizes the privatization of public education. All of these forces that fuel the neoliberal reform movement diminish the collective aims, benefits, and responsibility of/for public education. Instead, the movement encourages systems that ration education. The moves to emulate business models in education systems exacerbate inequities and run counter to the purpose of public education. Indeed, attempts to marketize, commodify, privatize, and dismantle public education are well-organized and coordinated. Yet, in Canada, provincial and territorial fragmentation has veiled the well-organized rhetoric and tactics of neoliberal education reforms. As a result, community and political responses have often been confined within borders. The reformers have been centrally organized, but the resistance has not. Recognizing that provincial and territorial borders can act as barriers to collective advocacy, this special issue is intended to share activities, research, and writing from across Canada about the tactics and impacts of privatization, to recognize the efforts being made to organize a collective response to privatization efforts, and to encourage national conversations beyond borders.

Author Biographies

Shannon Dawn Maree Moore, The University of Manitoba

Shannon D.M. Moore is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at The University of Manitoba. Her research interests include gender, media education, and the impacts of neoliberalism on public education, teaching and learning. In her current research, she is using critical discourse analysis to reveal the ways that neoliberal discourses are reconfiguring teaching, undermining curricula, and dismantling public education in Canada.

Ee-Seul Yoon , The University of Manitoba

By pioneering innovative geospatial approaches in education research, Dr. Ee-Seul Yoon is recognized for breaking new ground in interdisciplinary research connecting educational policy, sociology, and geography. Her work has helped forge new lines of research on the uneven impact of education marketization and privatization on schooling opportunities, experiences, and outcomes.

Melanie Janzen, The University of Manitoba

Melanie D. Janzen is a professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the University of Manitoba. Her current research projects focus on teaching in neoliberal times. She is a co-author, with Anne Phelan, on a recently released book, Feeling Obligated: Teaching in Neoliberal Times






Defending and Strengthening Public Education as a Common Good