Learning and Education

Confronting The Education Myth with Dr. Jon Shelton

Dr. Jon Shelton is an Associate Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. He returns to the podcast to join host Mike Palmer in a conversation about his new book The Education Myth: How Human Capital Trumped Social Democracy.

We begin by recalling Jon’s previous appearance on Trending in Ed from September of 2020 and reflect for a moment on how much has transpired since then. From there, we launch into what drove Jon to write The Education Myth where he critiques the prevailing human capital lens that is applied to the purpose of education in America and instead outlines the promise of a renewed focus on social democracy. Jon shares his thoughts on what got us to this point in our political history and how a meritocratic focus on education as the primary social good in our society has led to alienation and disaffection from those for whom the current system is not working. We explore the long history of social democracy as an important counterpoint to the neoliberal framing of human capital that pervades the discourse on education and the future of work. How does automation and emerging AI connect to the conversation and why is Jon optimistic about the future despite the real challenges we’re facing? Listen in to find out.

Subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at TrendinginEd.com for more sharp perspectives on the future of education.

Episode References

Shelton, J. (2023). The Education Myth: How Human Capital Trumped Social Democracy. Cornell University Press.