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“Navigating” transformation: Education 2030, teachers’ unions, and spaces of resistance

October 2019

In May 2019, the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) hosted a one-day seminar entitled Questioning the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Education 2030 Program. The seminar provided a space to critically explore the Education 2030 program and the general approach to global standards through international tests. Seminar participants then attended the OECD Education 2030 9th Informal Working Group meeting and B.C. Education Conference, hosted by the BC Ministry of Education in Vancouver.

This publication is a collection of reflections on these two events by teachers, union leaders and academics. Taken together, the papers disrupt efforts to position BC as an exemplar of the type of reform promoted by the OECD. The strength of BC’s education system is incompatible with proscriptive and standardized approaches to what is taught within schools and how teaching happens. These papers are a call to action to teachers’ unions to collectively defend public education and resist neoliberal education policies.

Teri Mooring President,
British Columbia Teachers’ Federation
October 2019

Contents

Foreword, Joel Westheimer, University of Ottawa

The Vancouver Conference: Spaces and places of resistance 

Questioning the OECD agenda

Education 2030: The next chapter in the OECD’s education agenda,
Sam Sellar, Manchester Metropolitan University

Navigating the global “transformation” of education,
Andrée Gacoin, British Columbia Teachers’ Federation

Why the OECD’s education agenda matters to students, communities, and teachers in British Columbia,
Tom Kertes, Teacher in Prince Rupert, BC

The compass as a source of (dis) orientation: Why the OECD 2030 Learning Compass missed the mark,
Jo Atkinson-Cornthwaite, Teacher in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, BC

Naming our Future - Education 2030 and the OECD 2019 Vancouver
J-C Couture, Research Fellow, Manchester Metropolitan University

Afterword—Education 2030 as 21st century colonialism, Larry Kuehn

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