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Critical Theories, Radical Pedagogies, and Social Education

New Perspectives for Social Studies Education

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Edited by Abraham DeLeon and E. Wayne Ross

A refreshing collection of essays that offers a range of critical and radical voices which are generally marginalized in the critical social studies ‘mainstream’ … This collection is a good read with valuable insights that can impact teaching practice.” Canadian Social Studies - Canada’s National Social Studies Journal - Volume 45 Issue 1
Award: American Educational Studies Association (AERA) Critics Choice Book Award 2011
This edited collection begins with the assertion that there are emergent and provocative theories and practices that should be part of the discourse on social studies education in the 21st century. Anarchist, eco-activist, anti-capitalist, and other radical perspectives, such as disability studies and critical race theory, are explored as viable alternatives in responding to current neo-conservative and neo-liberal educational policies shaping social studies curriculum and teaching.
Despite the interdisciplinary nature the field and a historical commitment to investigating fundamental social issues such as democracy, human rights, and social justice, social studies theory and practice tends to be steeped in a reproductive framework, celebrating and sustaining the status quo, encouraging passive acceptance of current social realities and historical constructions, rather than a critical examination of alternatives. These tendencies have been reinforced by education policies such as No Child Left Behind, which have narrowly defined ways of knowing as rooted in empirical science and apolitical forms of comprehension.
This book comes at a pivotal moment for radical teaching and for critical pedagogy, bringing the radical debate occurring in social sciences and in activist circles—where global protests have demonstrated the success that radical actions can have in resisting rigid state hierarchies and oppressive regimes worldwide—to social studies education.

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John Smyth, Lawrence Angus, Barry Down and Peter McInerney

Activist and Socially Critical School and Community Renewal comes about at an incredibly important point in history, and it offers a genuinely new paradigm. This book attempts what few others have tried—to bring together knowledge and literature around school reform and community renewal through authentic ethnographic stories of real schools and communities. The book describes and analyzes a courageous struggle for a more socially just world, around notions of relational solidarity that speak back to ideas that continue to privilege the already advantaged. This book provides some desperately needed new storylines as a basis for school and community renewal for the most excluded groups in society. It provides a new social imagination for ‘doing school’ in contexts that stand to benefit from school and community voiced approaches.