Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today - Adam Bessie on the GERM Epidemic: The Global Education Reform Movement

Join me today, Thursday, March 21st, for a live and interactive conversation with Adam Bessie on "G.E.R.M." - the "Global Education Reform Movement." Adam and graphic journalist Dan Archer explore G.E.R.M. in a three-episode comic titled "The Disaster Capitalism Curriculum: The High Price of Education Reform" (links below).

Pasi Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn About Educational Change in Finland?, created the idea of the Global Educational Reform Movement as G.E.R.M.: "It is like an epidemic," he writes, "that spreads and infects education systems through a virus. It travels with pundits, media and politicians. Education systems borrow policies from others and get infected. As a consequence, schools get ill, teachers don’t feel well, and kids learn less."

Adam and Dan's comic-style exploration of G.E.R.M. is intended to "pull back the progressive propaganda disguising the neoliberal, corporate nature of education reform." Their goal is "to expose the free-market policies that really make up 'education reform'; how these policies threaten our public education; who supports these policies; and, ultimately, what we might be able to do about the 'Disaster Capitalism Curriculum.'"

Here are links to the three episodes:
The Disaster Capitalism Curriculum: The High Price of Education Reform
Murky Waters: The Education Debate in New Orleans
The Finnish Alternative: Reclaiming Public Education From Corporate Reform

Date: Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page.
Recording:  A full Blackboard Collaborate recording is at and an audio mp3 recording  is at and at
Mightybell:  A Mightybell space with interview resources and to continue the conversation is at

Adam Bessie is an assistant professor of English at a Northern California community college, where he teaches reading, writing and literature courses, including one devoted to the graphic novel. Before this, Adam was briefly a public high school teacher (and his wife currently teaches social studies in a public high school). He has published essays on education, comics and culture in a wide variety of sources, including Truthout, The Washington Post's "Answer Sheet" and Daily Censored. Follow Asn on Twitter: @adambessie

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