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Beyond the Modern-Postmodern Struggle in Education

Toward Counter-Education and Enduring Improvisation

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Ilan Gur-Ze'ev

"This book is an attempt to historically and conceptually address the present human condition and the current specific role of education as a distinctively creative symbolic violence. In doing so, the book reevaluates the various manifestations and conflicting alternatives to normalizing education. The author suggests a unique, Diasporic, counter-education that transcends modern politics, postmodern philosophical assumptions and spiritual telos towards an impetus for the re-birth of what the author refers to as the "enduring improviser". It is a first step towards a new critical language that addresses the challenges of globalizing capitalism, of the cyberspace, of racism and of the new antisemitism that springs from postcolonialism. The book calls for a creative rearticulation of the relations between the aesthetic, the ethical, the intellectual and the bodily dimensions of the cosmos and human life. It is an invitation for a new Diasporic religiosity, one which turns courageously towards the exile of the gods. It addresses the ever-strengthening-and-tempting-sophistication of the anti-humanistic dimensions of "our" postmodern pleasure machine, of pre-modern "redemption" projects and of modern deceiving offers for "emancipation". The book is of special relevance for students of critical sociology, critical philosophy, Jewish philosophy, cultural studies, feminist studies, education—and for all friends of the free spirit.

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Edited by Klas Roth and Nicholas C. Burbules

This book offers an examination into the meanings of citizenship in the contemporary world, and trends that are forcing a rethinking of the concept in today’s nation-states. These changing meanings, in turn, give rise to new understandings of, and approaches to, citizenship education. The underlying values of participation, deliberation, and loyalty or patriotism that define different notions of citizenship are under strain in a world increasingly defined by global processes, by the rise of transnational or supranational institutions, and by interconnections that bring different cultures and value systems into closer contact with each other.
What does this new citizen look like? What does this new citizen need to know, or need to be able to do? To whom, and to what, is this new citizen loyal? One way to think about this new citizen is as a cosmopolitan”, a citizen of the world more than of any particular nation-state; another way to think about it is in terms of different kinds or levels of affiliation, existing simultaneously (to nation and to regional alliance, such as the European Union, for example). These conditions of citizenship, and of citizenship education, are rapidly changing and diverse - and in some instances they come into conflict.
This collection of essays an outstanding international group of scholars examines the tensions between national, transnational, and postnational conceptions of citizenship, brought back always to the grounded question of citizenship education and how to go about it. The authors illuminate the complexity and subtlety of these issues, and offer helpful guidance for rethinking the meanings and values that inform our educational endeavours.

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Edited by Cushla Kapitzke and Michael A. Peters

Knowledge is about cultural power. Considering that it is both resource and product within the brave new world of fast capitalism, this collection argues for knowledge cultures that are mutually engaged and hence more culturally inclusive and socially productive. Globalized intellectual property regimes, the privatization of information, and their counterpoint, the information and creative commons movements, constitute productive sites for the exploration of epistemologies that talk with each other rather than at and past each other. Global Knowledge Cultures provides a collection of accessible essays by some of the world’s leading legal scholars, new media analysts, techno activists, library professionals, educators and philosophers. Issues canvassed by the authors include the ownership of knowledge, open content licensing, knowledge policy, the common-wealth of learning, transnational cultural governance, and information futures. Together, they call for sustained intercultural dialogue for more ethical knowledge cultures within contexts of fast knowledge capitalism.

Nietzsche, Ethics and Education

An Account of Difference

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Peter Fitzsimons

Undermining the fundamental place of freedom, equality and universal reason, Nietzsche’s philosophy recognises that we occupy multiple and contradictory subject positions within social life. With no metaphysical realm of reason, no divine inspiration for morality, and no transcendental basis for human essence, we are left with the embodied, reflective and creative self as a source of ethics. From this perspective arises Nietzsche’s Übermensch, a continuous process of overcoming and becoming, interpreted as a metaphor for education that honours difference and incorporates otherness. The book explores the development of Nietzsche’s philosophy and its application to the problems of education, disturbing traditional liberal and democratic accounts of the relationship between individual and society. Threaded throughout is the author’s critique of the way educational institutions are driven by political and economic considerations, explored through notions of autonomy and subjectivity. The book is suitable for graduate students and academics wanting to engage either with postmodern interpretations of ethics in education, or with political philosophy in relation to development of self and community.

On Marx

An Introduction to the Revolutionary Intellect of Karl Marx

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Paula Allman

On Marx introduces readers to the greatest intellect of the last millennium. Anyone who finds the 21st Century daunting, bewildering even frightening, or conversely, who has been too comfortable with the easy answers proffered by governments and the media, will discover that Marx provides unparalleled understanding and clarity as well as inspiration for engaging collectively in a type of praxis that holds the promise of both self and socio-economic transformation. We all live in the world of global capitalism, and no one has explained better than Marx how capitalism works, how it develops—now and in the future—and the consequences to be expected from the unfolding of its inner contradictions—from the growth of global poverty, the widening gap between the rich and the poor to the proliferation of endless war and environmental destruction.
On Marx also enables readers to distinguish between the real genius of Marx ‘s thought and a range of ideas that have been erroneously attributed to him and which, unfortunately, have clouded many people’s judgement of Marx. According to the author, if humanity is to have a chance for hope and ultimately peace and socio-economic justice, we need to open our minds to Marx—to give Marx a chance.

Prospects of Higher Education

Globalization, Market Competition, Public Goods and the Future of the University

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Edited by Simon Marginson

As common global problems accumulate, research and higher education become ever more vital. At the same time global convergence is transforming the prospects of higher education institutions. Local and national affairs are no longer the ultimate horizon, creating much scope for cross-border initiative and invention in both knowledge and university strategy. Yet the new freedoms are not experienced equally in all localities. Differences between nations are still determining. As the older barriers are stripped away this enhances the capacity of strong universities and systems to dominate the rest, though new players are emerging. There are many possible trajectories for the university.
The future is open and the 22 authors in Prospects of Higher Education explore it from three perspectives: the world as a whole, the Americas, and particular localities and regions. Moving beyond nation-centered analysis of states and markets, Prospects uses concepts of public and private goods to map the potentials for global trade and university rankings, common knowledge benefits and multilateral policy action, national stratification and the wash-back effects in systems and institutions. Broad and imaginative, methodologically innovative and policy sharp, this book has much for government and university leaders, scholars of higher education and anyone interested in public policy.

Margaret Walshaw

Education has a long tradition of opening itself up to new ideas and new ideas are what Working with Foucault in Education is all about. The book introduces readers to the scholarly work of Michel Foucault at a level that it neither too demanding not too superficial. It demonstrates to students, educators, scholars and policy makers, alike, how those ideas might be useful in understanding people and processes in education. This new line of investigation creates an awareness of the merits and weaknesses of contemporary theoretical frameworks and the impact these have on the production of educational knowledge.
Working with Foucault in Education engages readers in selected aspects of education. Its ten chapters take a thematic approach and include vignettes that explore issues relating to curriculum development, learning to teach, classroom learning and teaching, as well as research in contemporary society. These explorations allow readers to develop a new attitude towards education. The reason this is possible is that Foucault provides a language and the tools to deconstruct as well as shift thinking about familiar concepts. They also provide the means for readers to participate in educational criticism and to play a role in educational change.

Edutopias

New Utopian Thinking in Education

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Edited by Michael A. Peters and John Freeman-Moir

Education has always been part of the search for the ideal society and, therefore, an important part of the utopian tradition in Western culture, politics and literature. Education has often served to define the ideal society or to provide the principal means of creating it. This unique collection of essays by well known scholars from around the world examines the role of edutopias in the utopian tradition, examining its sources and sites as a means for understanding the aims and purposes of education, for realizing its societal value, and for criticizing its present economic, technological and organizational modes. These essays will stimulate new thinking in ways that impinge on both theoretical and practical questions, as well as offering the reader a series of reminders of the ethical and political dimensions of education and its place in helping to build good and just societies. The collection is aimed at an audience of teachers and graduate students, although it will also be of interest to administrators, policy-makers and the general public interested in utopian thinking and its relation to education.

Politics, Bildung and Social Justice

Perspectives for a Democratic Society

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Heinz Sünker

When the future of mankind is at stake the question of Bildung has to be brought to the fore. Because Bildung, a term which has no equivalent in English is dealing with the foundations of emancipation and liberation in both meanings an individual and a societal one.
Bildung aims at maturity, reflexivity, social judgment, aesthetic and political consciousness and competence of action.
The book analyses the different traditions and approaches relevant for the development of the question of conceptualizing Bildung.
Especially the emphasis on ‘maturity’; political consciousness’ and ‘competence of action’ is a useful one when dealing with the democratic tradition as the alternative to contemporary attemps of neoliberalism leading to the rule of economy and the decline of the public.
The western marxist reading of Bildung in this book shows possibilities of renewing democracy and democratic lives in line with core elements of Bildung including autonomy, self-determination and social regulation. Corrresponding with Critical Theory, especially the work of Th. W. Adorno, Bildungs is seen as the tool to defend democracy.
The book is intended for graduate students and academics in educational theory, critical pedagogy, politics, sociology and philosophy.

Reading, Writing, and Thinking

The Postformal Basics

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Paul L. Thomas and Joe Kincheloe

In a world gone mad with standardized curricula and the degradation of the profession of teaching, P. L. Thomas and Joe Kincheloe attempt to bring sanity back to the discussion of the teaching of some of the basic features of the educational process. In Reading, Writing, and Thinking: The Postformal Basics the authors take on the “rational irrationality” of current imperial pedagogical practices, providing readers with provocative insights into the bizarre assumptions surrounding the contemporary teaching of reading, writing, and thinking. The authors are obsessed with producing an accessible book for multiple audiences—parents, teachers, scholars of education—that moves beyond critique to a new domain of the social and educational imagination. Readers of Thomas’ and Kincheloe’s book embark on a mind trip beginning with “what is” and moving to the realm of “what could be.” In this context they introduce readers to a critical theory of thinking—postformalism—that moves the social and educational conversation to a new terrain of individual and social consciousness.
Tired of the same educational policies and “solutions” in the teaching of reading, writing, and thinking, the authors become socio-psychic explorers who move readers past the boundaries of contemporary pedagogical perception.