More than words: a critical discourse analysis of the University of Victoria Co-operative Education Program

Date

2010-08-31T20:07:54Z

Authors

Kobrc, Helen

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Abstract

This study explored the discourse of the University of Victoria Social Sciences Co-op Program. It reviewed literature that illustrates how neoliberal ideologies due to globalization lead to the marketization of post-secondary education. It provided an overview of the neoliberal discursive context in which the Co-op Program is situated and a semiotic analysis of the discourse of three documents. Particular focus was paid to metaphoric representations. A co-op practitioner conducted the study, which included a reflective discussion of the findings related to the role of the Co-op Program staff, students and employers. The study highlighted neoliberal discourses that may impact a student’s educational experience by limiting student agency, reinforcing power structures, and focusing on career training with little emphasis on learning. As a way forward, the study presented different discourses and metaphoric representations that could be drawn upon to emancipate the students and harness the potential of an experiential education program.

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Keywords

discourse, neoliberalism, post-secondary education, bureaucracy, globalization, metaphor, co-operative education

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