Occupy your brain with Carol Black Febr. 5

Join me Tuesday, February 5th, for a live and interactive FutureofEducation.com conversation with returning guest Carol Black on her essay: “Occupy Your Brain: On Power, Knowledge, and the Re-Occupation of Common Sense.”

I previously interviewed Carol about her hugely thought-provoking film, Schooling the World, which Carol has generously agreed to make available again for free viewing between now and the 12th of February. The film is at https://vimeo.com/32012579 (password is STW2013), and looks at the often-devastating impacts of Western-style schooling in the developing world, particularly in Northern India.

In “Occupy Your Brain,” Carol states, “[a]s our climate heats up, as mountaintops are removed from Orissa to West Virginia, as the oceans fill with plastic and soils become too contaminated to grow food, as the economy crumbles and children go hungry and the 0.001% grows so concentrated, so powerful, so wealthy that democracy becomes impossible, it’s time to ask ourselves; who’s educating us? To what end?”

In “developed” societies, we are so accustomed to centralized control over learning that it has become functionally invisible to us, and most people accept it as natural, inevitable, and consistent with the principles of freedom and democracy. We assume that this central authority, because it is associated with something that seems like an unequivocal good – “education” – must itself be fundamentally good, a sort of benevolent dictatorship of the intellect. We allow remote “experts” to dictate what we must learn, when we must learn it, and how we must learn it. We grant them the right to test us, to measure the contents of our brains and the value of our skills, and then to brand us in childhood with a set of numeric rankings that have enormous power over our future opportunities to participate in the economic and political life of our society. We endorse strict legal codes which render this process compulsory, and in a truly Orwellian twist, many of us now view it as a fundamental human right to be legally compelled to learn what a higher authority tells us to learn.

I hope you’ll join us for what should be a challenging discussion.

See you online!
Steve Hargadon

Date: Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at http://www.futureofed.info. The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page.
Recording: A full Blackboard Collaborate recording and an audio mp3 recording will be available after the show here and at http://www.futureofeducation.com.
Mightybell: A Mightybell space with interview resources and conversation is at https://mightybell.com/spaces/21430.