In my Education and the American Dream class last week, we were talking about Michael Zweig’s notion that class is primarily about the power that some people have other others and the relative powerlessness that therefore shapes the lives of many.
We talked for a bit about how it is, then, that both teachers and kids are rendered relatively powerless in the administrative structures and pedagogies of many low-income/working class schools and about how it might be otherwise.
A few days later, I found a post at Practical Theory about explicitly preparing kids to believe that they “always belong in the room”.
I can’t imagine there being many objections to teaching kids skills like “networking” and engaging strangers in conversation. Businesses expect their workers to be adept at such things.
Yet as Chris suggests in this post, teaching these things explicitly in schools can also be about co-opting those “business” skills for the empowerment of kids long excluded from the board room.