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Critical Theories, Radical Pedagogies, and Social Education

New Perspectives for Social Studies Education


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.

Education for the People

Concepts of Grundtvig, Tagore,Gandhi and Freire


Asoke Bhattacharya

Yeats, the celebrated Irish poet said in his introduction to the book Gitanjali or Song Offering(1912) “......these prose translations from Rabindranath Tagore have stirred my blood as nothing has for years.” The book received Nobel Prize in 1913. Ezra Pound said of the same work, “We have found our new Greece, suddenly......I am not saying this hastily, nor in an emotional flurry, nor from a love of brandishing statement.” This Bengali poet of India was founder of a University called Visva-Bharati, an institution founded on an Indian philosophy of education.
Albert Einstein said of Gandhi, “generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”. For Gandhi, too, the path of India’s deliverence was through education.
Their thoughts have been brought into a living interaction with the thoughts of Grundtvig, the innovator of Scandinavian Folk High School and Paulo Freire, the Rousseau of the twentieth century.
This book provides a strong North-South, trans-contextual, anti-colonial dimension to adult education......should be of interest to those engaged in post-colonial studies and comparative education.


Georgina Marjorie Stewart

This work uses narrative research, including accounts of personal experiences, to explore the margins of science and ethics. Boundaries between science and other cultural and disciplinary forms of knowledge are illuminated through studying the inter-relationships between identity, knowledge and power, using narratives both in and as a form of philosophical reflection on educational practice.
The story centres on a contemporary real-world context of minority-language science education, showing how this fits into longstanding trans-disciplinary intercultural debates about the nature of science and of knowledge in general. The narrative form is used to bridge and interweave the multiple discourses influencing both the real-world context and the approach to its investigation. This analysis clarifies the linkages between paradigms of critical postcolonial research and post-positivist epistemology, and illustrates how social science, including educational research, may use science and technology to assist, rather than delimit, our understanding of complex human phenomena such as education, culture, language and science.


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.


Edited by Cees Klaassen and Nava Maslovaty

In the past two decades there has been a growing concern in politics and schools to pay more attention to norms and values. Teachers and schools are confronted with normative problems, school violence and students who sometimes seem to have lost their way when it comes to norms and values. Teachers play a crucial and exemplary role in the process of developing students’ awareness of norms and values in school and in society as a whole. This is a complex process that requires a great deal of moral courage of teachers. Confronted with an increase in the number of pedagogical duties the question arises what the teachers’ view is on their normative professionalism. The concept of teaching as a moral endeavour is a fundamental element in the series of studies presented in this book. One of the aims of this book is to be of importance for educational practice, educational policy and teacher education. It can be used in courses of pedagogy, curriculum studies and teacher education to stimulate the reflection about the practical consequences of the societal and educational policy debate about moral and democratic education for the daily work of the teacher. The common focus of this book is on the role of teachers, the moral courage which is demanded of them and the joint commitment with moral and democratic education.


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.

Edited by Daniel Tröhler, Thomas Schlag and Fritz Osterwalder

Pragmatism belongs—at least to a certain degree—to the Protestant-based reaction towards the economic, social, and political developments of the time in the US, and it is no coincidence that the pragmatists all came from religious families if not even theologian families. But these life conditions have changed over the course of the last century as much as the Protestant self-assurance has been questioned more and more. The question discussed in this book by international scholars is as to whether the possible modernity of pragmatism of around and after 1900 can still be labeled modern today, in the modernity (or post-modernity) around and after 2000. Has philosophy and philosophy of education found better alternatives? Have the alternatives of the time around 1900 proven to be better? Were the contemporary critics of pragmatism right? These questions are discussed in fourteen chapters clustered in three lager parts: The first part deals with pragmatism and modernity around 1900, the second part discusses contemporary alternatives to pragmatism and critics of pragmatism, and the third and last part of the book deals with the modernity of pragmatism today.
Intended audience:
• philosophers
• philosophers of education
• historians
• historians of education
• religious educators
• historians of sociology
• cultural historians
• political scientists
• postmodernists

Semiotics Education Experience

Foreword by Marcel Danesi


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.


Edited by Michael A. Peters, Tina (A.C.) Besley, Mark Olssen, Susanne Maurer and Susanne Weber

Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality originated in a lecture series in the late 1970s at the Collège de France and soon became the basis for a range of historical and contemporary studies across the social sciences and humanities. The concept in part rests on a simple but powerful idea that links government to the freedom of the subject in a novel understanding of liberal politics. It also provides an analytics of power based on the examination of actual practices. This is the first collection to use Foucault’s concept in relation to the field of education where it has a natural home given that much educational theory and practice in the liberal tradition at least since Kant has been directed at the goals of autonomy and self-government. The volume has three sections: a general section on Foucault and governmentality with contributions from some of the world’s leading scholars in the area, including Colin Gordon, Jacques Donzelot, and Thomas Lemke; and two sections devoted to governmentality and education, the first outlining Anglo-American perspectives, the second, focusing on European perspectives, with contributions from leading scholars such as Tom Popkewitz, James Marshall, Tom Osborne, Michael Peters, Mark Olssen, Tina Besley, Hermann J. Forneck, Bernadette Baker, Susan Weber, Susanne Maurer, Linda Graham, and Maarten Simons and Jan Masschelein, among many others.


Edited by Sharon Tettegah and Cynthia Calongne

Virtual worlds and other virtual environments offer an adaptable context for applied and situated learning experiences. In this book, educators, instructional designers, librarians, administrators and scholars reflect on how to leverage constructivist, authentic, collaborative and complex interactive educational experiences through the use of these multisensory environments.
Explore the intersection of presence, personal and group identity, culture, immersive learning experiences, multiuser virtual environments
(MUVEs) and massive multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs) with eleven multidisciplinary researchers. The examples range from K-12 to university educational experiences and highlight critical information from a variety of MUVEs, such as Second Life, Active Worlds, There, and several MMORPGs, including Ultima Online, Everquest and the World of Warcraft.