Abstract

Learning to be Violent? Adult education is imbued with positive thinking and subjective goals. Social, economic, and political emancipation and value-based shifts in attitudes are its theoretical and practical cornerstones. This is particularly evident in Stephen Brookfield and John Holst‘s Radicalizing Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2011). ―For us,‖ they write, ―adult learning is inextricably tied to creating and extending political and economic democracy – to equalizing democratic control of and access to wealth, education, health care, and creative work, and to promoting collective … forms of decision-making and labor‖ (xii). Adult education‘s ―traditional concern‖ is to create ―critical thinkers‖ able to counter any process of ―brainwashing or ideological manipulation‖ (2). Thus the field‘s contemporary goals include the encouragement of ―political and cultural democracy‖ and educating adults to learn ―how to recognize and abolish privilege around race, gender, status, and identity … [and] class‖ (4). And for radical learning in particular, the process involves the technical (i.e. learning how to ―stand up to racist speech‖), the communicative (i.e. ―learning how to bring the reality of racism to another‘s consciousness‖), and the emancipatory (i.e. ―integrating an alertness to racism into one‘s daily reasons and practice‖) (16). Brookfield and Holst use Nelson Mandela‘s life to illustrate how their theory is put into practice.

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Jun 1st, 4:10 PM

Violent Transformations: Can Adult Learning Theory Help Explain Radicalization, Political Violence, and Terrorism?

Learning to be Violent? Adult education is imbued with positive thinking and subjective goals. Social, economic, and political emancipation and value-based shifts in attitudes are its theoretical and practical cornerstones. This is particularly evident in Stephen Brookfield and John Holst‘s Radicalizing Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2011). ―For us,‖ they write, ―adult learning is inextricably tied to creating and extending political and economic democracy – to equalizing democratic control of and access to wealth, education, health care, and creative work, and to promoting collective … forms of decision-making and labor‖ (xii). Adult education‘s ―traditional concern‖ is to create ―critical thinkers‖ able to counter any process of ―brainwashing or ideological manipulation‖ (2). Thus the field‘s contemporary goals include the encouragement of ―political and cultural democracy‖ and educating adults to learn ―how to recognize and abolish privilege around race, gender, status, and identity … [and] class‖ (4). And for radical learning in particular, the process involves the technical (i.e. learning how to ―stand up to racist speech‖), the communicative (i.e. ―learning how to bring the reality of racism to another‘s consciousness‖), and the emancipatory (i.e. ―integrating an alertness to racism into one‘s daily reasons and practice‖) (16). Brookfield and Holst use Nelson Mandela‘s life to illustrate how their theory is put into practice.