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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

Series:

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

Series:

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

Series:

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.

Undead Theories

Constructivism, Eclecticism and Research in Education

David Geelan

Theory is dead. . . long live theory! In this collection of linked essays, David Geelan explores the contentious relationship between theory and research in education. The first chapter proclaims the 'death of theory' in educational research, but the remainder of the book explores a number of the ways in which theory survives and thrives. A commitment to conducting educational research that directly serves students and teachers, and that changes the life in classrooms through negotiation and collaboration, not through prescription, requires new tools and new ways of using them. Such tools include narrative modes of conducting and representing research as well as a 'disciplined eclecticism' that emphasises choosing and using competing theories in intentional ways. Metaphorical descriptions from the philosophy of science - particularly Kuhn and Popper - have been influential in science education. David explores the value of such perspectives, and argues that although they have offered important insights for science education, their use has also 'forced other perspectives into blindness’. In the contexts of research methodology, educational philosophy, science education and educational technology, David talks about new 'places to stand and ways to look' but, more importantly, gives specific examples of the ways in which these methodological tools and philosophical perspectives have been used in his own teaching and research practices.