Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Instructional Technology and Educational Studies

Major Professor

Diana Moyer

Committee Members

Trena Paulus, Barbara Thayer-Bacon


In order to discover the experiences of public school students with the presence of corporate advertising available in their schools, data was collected from a public elementary, middle, and high school. This included a walkthrough of the schools to make note of advertisements available to students on a regular basis; informal interviews with school staff; and collection of classroom materials from teachers. Also, a total of ten students representing three different grade levels were interviewed in three focus groups, one per grade level. This study is a qualitative analysis conducted from a critical and phenomenological standpoint. The impetus for the study was an interest in the influence(s) of corporate presence in public schools, and a concern for what implications that may/may not have on democratic ideals in American society in general and American educational systems in particular.

The results are presented as a literary journey of what students experience in terms of corporate advertising in their schools. Using Hatch’s interpretive analysis as a guide led to the development of five common themes that permeated the focus group discussions. Those include an understanding of the basic concept of advertising; a rejection of the idea that corporations employ the use of manipulative practices within the school; varying levels of awareness and abilities to recollect corporate names present within the school; the presence or lack of student agency; and evidence of “successful” manipulations of the students with regard to corporate agendas. Also noted was the presence in schools of practices that do not concur with school goals.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Education Commons