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Session 2
Steve Hargadon — Future of Education, Classroom 2.0, Web 2.0 Labs

The historical shifts that started with the selling of WWI to the American Public drove a new progressive mission to use schooling and propaganda as tools of managing the "bewildered herd" and a new vision of how democracy should work. Combined with the science of behaviorism, the beliefs and practices both in schools and the larger culture that would support "agency" and "self-direction" have been subsumed by practices of "directing" and "controlling" others. Our language and our behavior in how we get others to do things (think marketing) reflect beliefs that we can and should be using emotions and symbols to get other people to do what we think they should. Articulating this tension helps to have candid discussions of the real purpose of schooling: is it about personal liberation through learning or is it school as a form of social control? When (and to whom) does it do the former, and when does it do the latter?

Conversational Practice

I'm all about the conversation. I'll give a very short history of propaganda and how deeply we have accepted this as a form of communication, and how effective it has been. Then I'm anxious to explore this idea with those who attend.

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