Instructor: Creston Davis, PhD

Organizing an Alternative Educational Front to Neoliberalism

Meeting Times: Live sessions on Big Blue Button (see below for how to easily join)

Sunday, Sep 10, 12pm Noon (EST--New York Time) Live Session

Sunday, Sep 17, 12 pm Noon (EST) Live Session

Sunday, Sep 24, 12 pm Noon (EST) Live Session

Sunday, Oct 1, 12 pm Noon (EST) Live Session

 

Course Description: Since the late 1970s education (primary, secondary and higher education) in the United States and now in England, Canada and elsewhere, has been supplanted by a privatizing, for profit neoliberal model. This seminar will focus on higher education. What this means is that the original purpose of establishing universities and colleges namely to critically educate the public to become social participants for the common good of society is undermined because under the economic ideology of neoliberalism, the individual is now constituted as that entity that must struggle to against other individuals in order to succeed. When you apply this radical individualism to education, the shift is catastrophic in terms of how this changes education from a commonly supported social enterprise to an individually supported one. State funds have been radically reduced to education from 80% state funding to, in some cases less than 10%. The burden to pay for education, in other words, shifts from socially supported funding to individual student loans. Students from the 1980s to the present, have been forced into taking out student loans in order to access university or college. Now, student loan debt has reached nearly 1.5 trillion dollars in the USA alone. Tuition fees have increased over 1,200% since 1978 when you use to be able to work a summer job and receive a BA degree without debt. This trend has far reaching and dangerous effects not only on learning and passing knowledge from one generation to the next, but it also effects HOW education is done. This seminar will trace some of these toxic effects that neoliberalism has had on education from massively increasing administration, reducing tenure, cutting departments and neutralizing different and necessary forms of knowledge necessary for a healthy society.

This course will not only identify and characterize the problem with privatized education, but also outline both the strategic and tactical objectives for creating an educational (or pedagogical) alternative. Thus this seminar will unfold in the following four ways:

Be ChallengedThis course is live and interactive. You can take it just for enrichment or you can take it Pass/Fail. If you pass the course you will receive 1 Silver GCAS token. Earn 5 GCAS Silver tokens, and receive one Gold GCAS Token plus a free course. 2 Gold GCAS Tokens = 1 Platinum GCAS Token. 1 Platinum Token = 100 GCAS Dollars. GCAS Dollars are for you to use to purchase GCAS books and other goods we'll sell starting in our online bookstore starting January, 2018. In addition to a school we're starting to build an economy based on knowledge and ideas not on profits. Join us!

To pass the course, you will need to respond in the class forum at least 2 times between lectures or sessions (see schedule below). Each time must be at least 150 words. Respond to the lecture or respond to someone else's response and help create the conversation inside the online classroom. You can also write a blog post (no more than 1,000 words) about the course. If we publish it, you will receive an additional 1 GCAS Silver Token (2 maximum GCAS Silver Tokens per course).

Although we strongly encourage you to attend the lectures live online in our Platform (see below for how to join) it's not required for you to pass the course. You just have to view the recordings, which will be uploaded inside the course in your GCAS E-School virtual classroom.

Schedule:

1. Neoliberalism's Effect on Education: Cutting the Social Fabric and the Good of Society (Sun, Sept 10 Noon EST)

2. Countervailing Resources: From Paulo Freire's "Critical Pedagogy" (1960's) to 2nd generation (Henry Giroux) to Contemporary Critical/Creative Pedagogy (Sun, Sept 17 at Noon EST)

3. Back to the Public: Finding our Common Need Again (Sun, Sept 24 at Noon EST)

4. Finding our Way Forward: Alternative Education A New Front (Sun, Oct 1 at Noon EST)