STUDENT LOAN DEBT AS A WICKED PROBLEM
Moving from Pessimism to Possibility and Hell to Hope
Daniel Sparks (reviewer), 2023, Teachers College Record, Sage
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"This book offers a variety of interesting perspectives on the wicked student loan problem. It gets better as you go along, with a particularly strong finish. Well worth reading."
-Alan Collinge, founder of StudentLoanJustice.org
The majority of what gets written about student loan debt ties rapidly rising tuition to state disinvestment, cost disease, among other forces that are internal or external to the academy. The neoliberal regime of truth is that a college education is worth incurring student loan debt. Human capital is the motif. The financial "payoff" is seen as a logical reason to go to college and to "invest" in one's future. This book offers a counter-perspective. The editor of this volume places the debt crisis within a "Wicked Problem" framework to help explain why the student debt crisis in U.S. Higher Education doesn't seem to be getting better despite valiant attempts to do so. The complexity of higher education financing and policy is immense, and it is no coincidence that change is slow. The chapters in this book will point out that while the main culprit for why students continue to graduate with more and more student loan debt is not individual choice, but rather evidence of the neoliberal ecosystem of higher education, itself.
Nicholas D. Hartlep (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) holds the Robert Charles Billings Endowed Chair in Education at Berea College where he Chairs the Department of Education Studies. Hartlep has published 25 books, the most recent being (2021) Asian/American Scholars of Education: 21st Century Pedagogies, Perspectives, and Experiences. In 2022 Profiles in Diversity Journal named him an Asian Leader Worth Watching. Follow his work on Twitter at @nhartlep or at his website, www.nicholashartlep.com or on his YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/nicholashartlep