Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Student Debt. College Costs. Get into the Conversation.

This is one graphic from a blog article written by Terry Elliott, who teaches at Western Kentucky University. Terry and I've been exchanging ideas for more than a year as a result of our meeting in a couple of education MOOCs.

The topic of student debt should be of great interest, and concern for parents who have children in middle school or high school, as well as tutors/mentors who work with urban youth.

It should also be of concern for the millions of college students who are amassing huge debt that they will struggle to pay off over the rest of their lives. It should be a concern for millions of alumni who already are trying to pay off huge debt with low wage salaries.  It should be a concern for leaders of both political parties.

The article shows a form of student engagement, that could be a classroom activity repeated in thousands of schools, or in non-school tutor/mentor programs. It's a form of engagement that community organizers should add to their own tool kit.

However, the article goes deeper. It uses Matt Taibbi's article from 2013 in Rolling Stone, titled "Ripping of  Young America: The College-Loan Scandal" as a teaching tool. In doing so it offers a platform and template that thousands could use to dig deeper into this topic.

It also points to many other resources and articles, that offer opportunities for deeper learning.

You can just read the article, or you can read and follow comments made by Terry Elliot, his students, myself, and others.  Here's a link to a Hackpad page with more graphics like the one shown above.



In my comments, I referred to this PDF essay, and talked about how important it is that we "build and sustain a public will" if we're to solve any complex social, environmental and/or political problem.

I hope that readers will not only take a look, and add their own comments, but that they will share this in their own blogs and social media, so more use this as a catalyst for building a larger participation.

PS:  From April 11-15, 2016 learners are invited to participate in a comics-making challenge, described here.  

PS: April 8, 2016 - definition of a meme: 
a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

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