Discipline and Development: Structures of discipline in Ontario education and the struggle for the soul
Date of Award
Master of Education
Dr. Fred Ellett Jr.
In Ontario, and in Canada, a culture of acquisition is influential in many
aspects of society. This culture is pervasive enough to distort social values so that institutions and individuals come to accept the culture of acquisition and to make formal policies that in effect serve to foster and advance the values of that culture. The values of the culture of acquisition are material and often monetary in nature and hinder the process of self-actualization. The schooling system in Ontario is not immune from this influence. Education policy reflects the influence of the culture of acquisition and the rhetoric used to justify it demonstrates a kind of blindness to the long term effects of its influence on students, teachers and society.
In this work, it is assumed that the process of self actualization is a naturally innate capacity, revealed in the work of Maslow and Neill, essential to healthy socialization. Education, as a social-political activity, serves to both build and maintain cultural values. Teachers are in a position, still, to give their students the critical thinking skills needed to evaluate cultural influences which may harm or help them in their process of becoming and so can give them the ability to choose paths that lead away from the culture of acquisition and toward self-actualization within the balance of the soul.
Oh Neill, Samuel, "Discipline and Development: Structures of discipline in Ontario education and the struggle for the soul" (2009). Digitized Theses. 3939.