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Is Commercialism In Schools Ethical?

Many academic professionals have been studying whether or not it is ethical for commercialism to take such a center stage in our schools. Many children are in the process of becoming more media aware whilst they are in education, and so there can be a lot of pressure to contend with all of the different messages which might be available to them. Some of these messages can conflict also, if you were to be told that fast food is bad for you, but were confronted with a fast food advertisement on the bus you ride to school, what would you do?

Whether we can help it or not, commercialism is becoming more and more prominent - just like advertising has taken over media platforms like a frenzied attack. Even though we cannot help our young ones seeing advertisements when they are browsing the computer or watching their favorite cartoons, surely it can be helped when they are in an educational environment?

Commercialism allows the wheels of business to be lubricated. Many companies cannot live without commercials, and for the bus companies which ferry our kids to and from school each day, it can be said that adverts are a vital income stream to them. There is also the dilemma of commercialized radio networks which have become more of a prominent fixture in schools - where companies can buy airtime during peak hours such as break times and lunchtimes, allowing their products to be broadcast to a nation of students.

There are also syndicated television channels which are broadcast in many schools. Even though these can have their advantages (some TV channels simplify the news, allowing students to make sense of what is going on), there can be questions regarding the adverts which might take place during one of the broadcasts that these children are watching. They are usually accepted because the commercials allow the service to be funded, but is that a good enough reason?

There are even posters and advertisements adorning the walls of some educational institutions, meaning that children are being confronted with messages about products all of the time. There have been criticisms that young people need to be broken into our commercialized culture more gently, and the products which are being promoted through all of these channels can also put a lot more pressure on the parents that these children go home to every day following on from their schooling session.

There are key differences between an educational world and a commercialized world - particularly in how young people are seen by those who are in retail and those who are in teaching. For example, the ideology that students should be able to explore the different areas which they are learning in education is completely different to the approach that advertising directors want to take. This is because of how many of these companies want students to take on board the advertising message without thinking about the other components and being critical of what is being conveyed.

More Great Information on Commercialism In School

  1. BadAds.org - Site has tools and suggestions to put an end to intrusive advertising. Includes information for parents, teachers, and kids.
  2. Captive Kids - A report on commercial pressures on kids at schools.
  3. Obligation, Inc. - A child advocacy organization - "Channel One is the Number One media problem facing our children today."
  4. The adMan- Reviews that deliver a knee-jerk to the groin of American advertising.
  5. The Center For Commercial: Free Public Education- A national non-profit organization that addresses the issue of commercialism in our public schools. The Center provides support to students, parents, teachers and other concerned citizens organizing across the U.S. to keep their schools commercial-free and community-controlled.

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