Building Students' 'Cultural Capital'

Doug Lederman, Ignatia Webs, Nov 05, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I am totally opposed to the tenor of this article, which refers to the development of "cultural capital" in students and describes employing "bribery" (in the form of tuition rebates) in order to convince them to participate in on-campus activities such as listening to guest lectures or attending chamber music concerts. But there's an underlying thread that's important: many students come from communities or backgrounds "where there weren't any plays or concerts or chamber music." The role of education in introducing diversity to a student's life should not be underestimated. But one wonders why this would be limited to students and universities. Underground radio, poetry slams, indy rock, art openings, toga parties - these were all part of my education. But oh - that's probably not the kind of 'culture' the fine citizens bribing students had in mind.

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