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102: Fight Back Against Debt w/ Debt Collective

Ep. 102

A conversation around student loan debt has been happening at the margins of American political life for nearly a generation. By 2012, total student loan debt in the United States surpassed one trillion dollars, with the only relief coming from a pause on interest and federal debt collection that began with the pandemic in March 2020. Today, a majority of Americans, nearly 60% of polled voters, support some kind of forgiveness on the nation’s now 1.7 trillion dollar student loan debt, and borrowers have benefited from the pause on payments, recently extended to May 2022. That’s over two years without a single required payment…and seemingly without a single negative economic consequence. A recent study from the Student Debt Crisis Center also found that nearly 90% of borrowers are not financially secure enough to resume payments.


Is it time to pause these payments indefinitely? Is it past time for mass student loan debt forgiveness? While most of the conversations we have at HRP happen at the intersection of the theory and classroom practice of education, today I am joined by Thomas Gokey, Eleni Shirmer, and Jason Wozniak, as they talk to us about their organization, Debt Collective, make the moral, economic, and pedagogical case for debt cancellation, and let listeners know how to join their grassroots movement.


GUESTS

Thomas Gokey, organizer and co-founder of Debt Collective, visual artist, adjunct professor at Syracuse University, and activist


Eleni Shirmer, researcher at the Future of Finance Initiative at UCLA's Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, and organizer with Debt Collective


Jason Wozniak, assistant professor at Teacher's College, Columbia University, and author of the upcoming book, The Mis-Education of the Indebted Student


RESOURCES

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4/30/2022

109: On Constructionism, Makerspaces, & Music Ed w/ Burton Hable

Ep. 109
I am joined today by Burton Hable. Burton Hable is a music educator, currently living in Central Virginia. He is a doctoral student in Boston University’s Music Education program, and his research interests lie in how people construct music knowledge in the context of a makerspace. He also serves as the Operations and Building Manager for the Charlottesville Band. Prior to moving to Virginia in the summer of 2018, he taught instrumental music in Iowa for eight years. I’ve also known Burton for 20 years now, as we were high school classmates and played trombone in the same high school band together, and both of us came back years later to teach in the same district we graduated from. In so many ways, Burton and I share a similar journey in arriving at progressive education, and I am grateful to call him a friend and a learning partner for these many years.As the title mentions, this episode focuses on the niche pedagogy of “constructionism” largely attributed to one man, Seymour Papert, who published his first book, Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas, back in 1980. It’s both fascinating and frustrating that despite 4 decades of research supporting the powerful impact on cognition and the opportunity for collaboration inherent in these ideas, the philosophy and framework of constructionism and similarly modeled “makerspaces” are still only deployed in limited pockets on the fringes of the standard model of school. This conversation gets at the same central premise as so many others on this podcast, that is our limited imagination about “what works” in schools as they are currently structured, and “what works to do what” within music education in particular. What does it mean to be musically literate? To be a musician? Burton Hable imagines the role of makerspaces supported by constructionist pedagogy in music ed as a way to expand and enrich the standard model for students, with the goal of creating a broader collaborative experience for students to engage with all aspects - creating, performing, responding, and connecting - of what it means to be musical.Connect with Burton @ burtonhable.com or on Twitter @burtonhableGUESTSBurton Hable, music educator & Operations and Building Manager for the Charlottesville BandRESOURCESMindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas by Seymour Papert (open access)Review: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms by Nick Covington