Playdough Capitalism: An Adventure in Critical Pedagogy

  • William K. Carroll
Keywords: Capitalism, experiential education, immanent critique, radical pedagogy, surplus value


This paper describes a technique for simulating capitalism within the classroom, using familiar materials and creating a participatory, reflexive learning space. It situates ‘Playdough Capitalism’ within the theory/practice of experiential education/radical pedagogy and the Marxist analysis/immanent critique of capitalism as a historically-formed system of class exploitation and alienated labour. The paper discusses both the value of simulating capitalism within the classroom and its limits as a transformative pedagogy.