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In: Wars of Position? Marxism Today, Cultural Politics and the Remaking of the Left Press, 1979-90
Chapter 4 Against Critical Pedagogy

Abstract

Capitalism’s idea of education has always been a dystopian one. The last twenty years, we have moved even further into a market-driven, theocratic, ethnocentric, militarized, authoritarian, punitive model that holds firm capitalist and neoconservative values, where middle and, particularly, working class students and students of color are taught obedience, compliance, and conformity and remain relegated in the margins. This chapter traces the historical roots and theoretical foundations of Critical Pedagogy in the United States against a necessary socio-historical context, and identifies authoritarianism in education. From the organization and standardization of curricula and the control of forms and content of knowledge to the physical control and discipline, the ritualistic organization of school routines and the regulation of student bodies, authoritarianism registers overtly and covertly as a main driving force. In this context some new research paths are proposed that challenge neoliberalism and the new disruptive models of the pandemic, surveillance and militarization, and reiterate the political nature of education, looking at social media as a site of public pedagogy. With the rise of the far right, the chapter addresses the role of schools, the connections between school curricula and the increasing popularity of fake news and of right-wing conspiracy theories, the different sites of public pedagogy and the knowledge these produce.

In: From Twitter to Capitol Hill
Chapter 5 Emergency Time as a Pedagogical Project

Abstract

Far-right populist authoritarianism builds on the rhetoric of historical revisionism. Revisionist history can be illustrated in the Republicans’ backlash against using Critical Race Theory in school curricula, promoting at the same time Patriotic Education, a whitewashed nativist version that bears little relevance to the present, while selectively erasing the past. This chapter explores the features of historical narratives and their role in supporting and strengthening the authoritarian far-right Trumpist rhetoric, as well as the new strong discourses emerging out of Trumpism. The control over the collective historical narrative is central in far-right politics, and Trumpism has successfully integrated a dangerous historical revisionism into its muddy ideological mix. The whitewashing and distortion of history has traditionally been at the core of all ideological struggles. Features of far-right authoritarian narratives are presented in an attempt to frame history as a critical pedagogical project and pedagogy as a historical project. All book themes are weaved under the light of history and the process of historicization, situating social phenomena and events in their historical dimension

In: From Twitter to Capitol Hill