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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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Edited by Zeus Leonardo

In academia, the effects of the “cultural turn” have been felt deeply. In everyday life, tenets from cultural politics have influenced how people behave or regard their options for action, such as the reconfiguration of social movements, protests, and praxis in general. Many authors writing in this field are known for their scholarship and social activism, both of which are arguably guided by principles of cultural politics about the nature of representation and the deployment of power in political discourses. The Handbook of Cultural Politics and Education is less an attempt to standardize contemporary educational scholarship and more a collection that engages the problems and promises of recent themes in social and cultural thought, which require our attention and demand a response. In other words, it opens doors to questions rather than convenient answers to difficult educational dilemmas. The Handbook is part of the appraisal of an opening created by interdisciplinary writings on such themes as representation, civil society, cultural struggle, subjectivity, and media within the context of education. Indeed cultural politics troubles traditional frameworks in search of critical explanations concerning education’s place within society. The contributions in the collection support this endeavor.

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Edited by Ilan Gur-Ze'ev

The critique of Critical Pedagogy—in its current various trends and paths teaches me not only the shortcomings of various versions of Critical Pedagogy. No less important, it offers an invitation to a reflection on the limitations, costs, and open horizons of “critique” itself. It is an invitation to transcend “critique” as such. But what alternative do we have, and from where or with what ears might we listen to the music of the new call? What is it that awaits us outside the critical tradition that in an unproblematic manner we could use, internalize, or surrender ourselves to? Such questions reintroduce us to Utopia. They reintroduce us to the Utopia of the possibility of happiness of the kind that is neither made possible nor advocated by self-abandonment and enslavement/destruction of the otherness of the Other and the “I”. This book manifests a refusal to abandon Critical Theory’s telos; it offers no “solutions”, “victories of the oppressed”, and “emancipation”, neither does it promise “peace” and unproblematic “consensus”. On the contrary: all the eternal open, Diasporic individual can hope for is worthy Diasporic Love of Life, creativity, mature forms of togetherness, and eternal nomadism as a manifestation of co-poiesis.

Semiotics Education Experience

Foreword by Marcel Danesi

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Edited by Inna Semetsky

“Semiotics Education Experience” is a collection of fifteen essays edited by Inna Semetsky that explores semiotic approaches to education: semiotics of teaching, learning, and curriculum; educational theory and philosophies of Dewey, Peirce, and Deleuze; education as political semiosis; logic and mathematics; visual signs; semiotics and complexity; semiotics and ethics of the self. This is a landmark collection of cross-disciplinary chapters by international scholars that mark out the appeal and significance of a semiotic approach to education. As Marcel Danesi reminds us in the Foreword, Vygotsky construed learning theory as the science of signs. Semetsky’'-s collection should be widely read by students and scholars in education, philosophy, futures studies, cultural studies, and related disciplines. It deserves the widest dissemination.
Michael A Peters, Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Editor, Educational Philosophy & Theory and Policy Futures in Education
"With her latest collection, Inna Semetsky has once again deftly organized a series of nuanced reflections on semiotics and pedagogical issues that touch upon vital philosophical, political, communicational, visual and interdisciplinary matters of enduring relevance. "
Gary Genosko, Editor, The Semiotic Review of Books and Canada Research Chair, Lakehead University.

Leaders in Curriculum Studies

Intellectual Self-Portraits

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Leonard J. Waks and Edmund C. Short

In the 1950s and 1960s school teaching became a university-based profession, and scholars and policy leaders looked to the humanities and social sciences in building an appropriate knowledge base. By the mid-1960s there was talk about a “new” philosophy, history, and sociology of education. Curriculum thinkers such as Joseph Schwab, Dwayne Heubner and Paul Hirst initiated new intellectual projects to supplement applied work in curriculum.
By the 1970s the field was in the process of re-conceptualization, as a new generation of scholars provided deep critical insights into the social, political and cultural dynamics of school experience and templates for renewal of curriculum research and practice.
In this book, 18 leading curriculum scholars since 1970 who remain influential today present the fascinating stories of their lives and important new contributions to the field. They trace their early experiences in teaching and curriculum development, creative directions in their work, mature ideas and perceptions of future directions for the field. Each chapter contains a list of works chosen by the authors as their personal favorites.

Learning for Meaning's Sake

Toward the Hermeneutic University

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Stephanie Mackler

Universities, and the societies they serve, suffer from a crisis of meaning: We have fanatically developed our ability to produce knowledge, leaving our ability to craft meaning by the wayside. University graduates often have an abundance of knowledge but lack the wisdom to use it meaningfully. Meanwhile, people inside and outside academia are searching for meaning but are imprisoned in a lexicon of clichés and sound bites that stunts their quest.
In response, Learning for Meaning’s Sake begins with the assertion that higher education in the 21st century should renounce its obsession with job training and knowledge production and should, instead, turn toward questions of meaning. Drawing upon a diverse range of philosophical thought, Learning for Meaning’s Sake offers the vision and philosophical foundation for a new type of higher learning-one that is devoted to the existential questions at the core of human existence.

Multiple Literacies Theory

A Deleuzian Perspective

Edited by Diana Masny and David R. Cole

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Edited by Bernadette Baker

Rereading the historical record indicates that it is no longer so easy to argue that history is simply prior to its forms. Since the mid-1990s a new wave of research has formed around wider debates in the humanities and social sciences, such as decentering the subject, new analytics of power, reconsideration of one-dimensional time and three-dimensional space, attention to beyond-archival sources, alterity, Otherness, the invisible, and more. In addition, broader and contradictory impulses around the question of the nation - transnational, post-national, proto-national, and neo-national movements—have unearthed a new series of problematics and focused scholarly attention on traveling discourses, national imaginaries, and less formal processes of socialization, bonding, and subjectification. New Curriculum History challenges prior occlusions in the field, building upon and departing from previous waves of scholarship, extending the focus beyond the insularity of public schooling, the traditional framework of the self-contained nation-state, and the psychology of the schooled individual. Drawing on global studies, historical sociology, postcolonial studies, critical race theory, visual culture theory, disability studies, psychoanalytics, Cambridge school structuralisms, poststructuralisms, and infra- and transnational approaches the volume holds together not despite but because of differences and incommensurabilities in rereading historical records.

Re-Reading Education Policies

A Handbook Studying the Policy Agenda of the 21st Century

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Edited by Maarten Simons, Mark Olssen and Michael A. Peters

This book collects studies with a ‘critical education policy orientation’, and presents itself as a handbook of matters of public concern. The term ‘critical’ does not refer to the adoption of a particular theoretical framework or methodology, but rather it refers to a very specific ethos or way of relating to the present and the belief that the future should not be the repetition of the past. This implies a concern about what is happening in our societies today and what could or should be happening in the future. As a consequence, the contributors to the book rely on a general notion of public policy that takes on board processes, practices, and discourses at a variety of levels, in diverse governmental and non-governmental contexts, and considers the relation of policy to power, to politics and to social regulation. Following the detailed introduction that aims at picturing the landscape of studies with a ‘critical education policy orientation’, the book presents re-readings of six policy challenges; globalization, knowledge society, lifelong learning, equality/democracy/social inclusion, accountability/control/efficiency and teacher professionalism. It seeks to contextualise these in relation to issues of current global concern at the start of the 21st century. Despite the diversity of approaches, this collection of critical education policy studies shares a concern with what could be called ‘the public, and its education,’ and represents a snapshot of education policy research at a particular time.

Teacher Assemblage

International Perspectives

P. Taylor Webb

Teacher Assemblage is a groundbreaking report in the tradition of fieldwork in philosophy, using Michel Foucault’s and Gilles Deleuze’s ideas to better understand how accountability policy affected teachers. The case study examines different vectors of power and demonstrates how teachers interacted with each other, and interacted with their immediate policy environments. This unique book provides readers with grounded insights into Foucault’s and Deleuze’s ideas by paying close attention to the macro- and micro- political worlds of schools as teachers struggle with new forms of performance accountability. The book illustrates ideas of power, politics, and policy with a unique use of surrealist art to illustrate the philosophical ideas at play in the case study. The book will have a wide appeal to teachers, teacher educators, educational researchers, policy and curriculum scholars, art aficionados, and those interested in the thoughts of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze.