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2016 Annual Conference

November 7–11, 2016

Albuquerque, NM

It’s Not Incidental If It Changes Your Life: Learning from Rock, TV, Film, and Fandom

Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 4:30 PM–5:15 PM Mountain Time (US & Canada)
Enchantment D (24)
Session Abstract
This session provides an overview of how popular culture operates as an arena of education and a site of adult learning, and reviews the most recent literature within adult education focused on lifelong learning through popular culture. I will illustrate how popular culture can either reinforce oppression or encourage resistance.
Target Audience
Anyone interested in working with adults as holistic persons. Critical educators who base their practice around social justice, global human rights, environmental sustainability, worker rights, reducing economic disparities, overcoming prejudice, or any other form of educator activism. Teachers who struggle to teach critical theory, critical race theory, queer theory, crip crit, or other transformational ways of examining injustices.
Session Description
One cannot contemplate the landscape of adult learning without considering that most of what adults learn of the world—what forms their identities and worldviews—is assimilated through popular culture. While this learning is unmediated, it is fully present in our classrooms as a significant part of our students’ knowledge. Adults search the internet for information, read blogs about their interests, and absorb messages from music, television, and movies. It is imperative that we understand how popular culture shapes people’s “common knowledge” on social issues, politics, economics, history, and other cultures. Educators often help students unlearn that hegemony (challenge their ideology) in order to learn.

Cultural studies began with adult literacy educators Raymond Williams and Richard Hoggart in the mid twentieth century (Steele, 1997). They recognized popular culture’s impact on their students’ learning, and their investigations into those phenomena evolved into the discipline of cultural studies (CS). But CS lost the emphasis on adult learning and identity development that inspired its emergence. Adults learn from popular culture. Understanding what and how they learn is central to advancing our field. In this session, I will review recent studies on AE/popular culture and help participants connect theories to practice.

Primary Presenter

Dr. Robin Redmon Wright, Ph.D., Penn State University, Harrisburg

Additional Presenters: Enters In Order