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The Gold and the Dross

Althusser for Educators

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David I. Backer

In the last decade, there has been an international resurgence of interest in the philosophy of Louis Althusser. New essays, journalism, collections, secondary literature, and even manuscripts by Althusser himself are emerging, speaking in fresh ways to audiences of theorists and activists. Althusser is especially important in educational thought, as he famously claimed that school is the most impactful ideological state apparatus in modern society. This insight inspired a generation of educational researchers, but Althusser’s philosophy—unique in a number of ways, one of which was its emphasis on education—largely lost popularity.

Despite this resurgence of interest, and while Althusser’s philosophy is important for educators and activists to know about, it remains difficult to understand. The Gold and the Dross: Althusser for Educators, with succinct prose and a creative organization, introduces readers to Althusser’s thinking. Intended for those who have never encountered Althusser’s theory before, and even those who are new to philosophy and critical theory in general, the book elaborates the basic tenets of Althusser’s philosophy using examples and personal stories juxtaposed with selected passages of Althusser’s writing. Starting with a beginner’s guide to interpellation and Althusser’s concept of ideology, the book continues by elaborating the epistemology and ontology Althusser produced, and concludes with his concepts of society and science. The Gold and the Dross makes Althusser’s philosophy more available to contemporary audiences of educators and activists.
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Edited by Sue Vella, Ruth Falzon and Andrew Azzopardi

The study of wellbeing is not new. Over two millennia ago, the Ancient Greeks were already debating different conceptions of the good life, and how it may be fostered, albeit a debate for the privileged in ancient Greek society. More recently, the post-WWII concern with economic scarcity gave way – as prosperity rose in the later 20th century – to values such as personal growth and social inclusion. In parallel, research has increasingly turned its focus to wellbeing, going beyond traditional measures of income, wealth and employment. Greater attention is now paid to the subjective experience of wellbeing which, it is broadly agreed, has many dimensions such as life satisfaction, optimal functioning and a good quality of life.

Perspectives on Wellbeing: A Reader brings together a number of chapters that examine wellbeing from different disciplinary perspectives. A number of the chapters take the angle of human flourishing, looking at the respective contributions of belonging, emotional resilience, spirituality, prosocial behaviour, literacy and leisure. Others look at wellbeing through a social relations lens, including family relations, youth, persons with disability and gender. Finally, a chapter on wellbeing and economics illustrates different approaches to measuring wellbeing and identifying its determinants, and the book concludes with a chapter that argues for the enduring importance of the welfare state if the wellbeing of all is to be ensured.

This book is likely to be of interest to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in the social sciences as well as to a general readership.

Contributors are: Angela Abela, Andrew Azzopardi, Paul Bartolo, Marie Briguglio, Amy Camilleri Zahra, Joanne Cassar, Marilyn Clark, Ruth Falzon, Vickie Gauci, Ingrid Grech Lanfranco, Natalie Kenely, Mary Anne Lauri, Marceline Naudi, Claudia Psaila, Clarissa Sammut Scerri, Sandra Scicluna Calleja, Barbara Stelmaszek, Sue Vella, and Val Williams.
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Edited by Peter Charles Taylor and Bal Chanra Luitel

In a rapidly globalizing world, the pressing challenge for science and mathematics educators is to develop their transdisciplinary capabilities for countering the neo-colonial hegemony of the Western modern worldview that has been embedded historically, like a Trojan Horse, in the international education export industry. Research as Transformative Learning for Sustainable Futures introduces the world to next-generation multi-worldview research that empowers prospective educational leaders with a vision and voice for designing 21st century educational policies and practices that foster sustainable development of the diverse cultural capital of their multicultural societies. At the heart of this research are the principles of equity, inclusiveness and social justice.

The book starts with accounts of the contributors' extensive experience of engaging culturally diverse educators in postgraduate research as transformative learning. A unique aspect of their work is combining Eastern and Western wisdom traditions. In turn, the chapter authors – teacher educators from universities across Asia, Southern Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific – share their experience of research that transformed their philosophies of professional practice. They illustrate the following aspects of their engagement in research as transformative learning for sustainable futures: excavating auto|ethnographically their lifeworld experiences of learning and teaching; developing empowering scholarly perspectives for analysing critically and reflexively the complex cultural framings of their professional practices; re-visioning their cultural and professional identities; articulating transformative philosophies of professional practice; and enacting transformative agency on return to their educational institutions.

Contributors are: Naif Alsulami, Shashidhar Belbase, Nalini Chitanand, Alberto Felisberto Cupane, Suresh Gautam, Bal Chandra Luitel, Neni Mariana, Milton Norman Medina, Doris Pilirani Mtemang'ombe, Emilia Afonso Nhalevilo, Hisashi Otsuji, Binod Prasad Pant, Sadruddin Qutoshi, Yuli Rahmawati, Indra Mani Rai (Yamphu), Siti Shamsiah Sani, Indra Mani Shrestha, Mangaratua Simanjorang, and Peter Charles Taylor.
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Tina Besley and Michael A. Peters

Teaching, Responsibility, and the Corruption of Youth explores the concept and practice of responsibility in education and teaching in the new post-Cold War era after the long run of globalization and liberal internationalism has been disrupted by the rise of populism, anti-immigration sentiments and new forms of terrorism. The old liberal values and forms of tolerance have been questioned. Responsibility is a complex concept in our lives with moral, social, financial and political aspects. It embraces both legal and moral forms, and refers to the state of being accountable or answerable for one’s actions implying a sense of obligation associated with being in a position of authority such as a parent, teacher or guardian having authority over children. First used with schools in 1855, the concept's legal meaning was only tested in the 1960s when student conduct, especially when materially affecting the rights of other students, was not considered immune by constitutional guarantees of freedom.

This volume investigates the questions left with us today: What does responsibility mean in the present era? Does loco parentis still hold? What of the rights of students? In what does teacher responsibility consist? Can student autonomy be reconciled with market accountability? To what extent can responsibility of or for students be linked to ‘care of the self’ and ‘care for others’? And, most importantly, to what extent, if any, can teachers be held accountable for the actions of their students?
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Dwelling, Building, Thinking

A Post-Constructivist Perspective on Education, Learning, and Development

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Wolff-Michael Roth

In this book, the author presents a major challenge to (social) constructivism, which has become an ideology that few dare to critique. Transgressing the boundaries of this ideology, the author develops an alternative epistemology that takes dwelling as the starting point and ground. Dwelling enables building and thinking (‘constructing’). It is an epistemology in which there is a primacy of social relations, which are the first instantiations of the higher psychological functions ascribed to humans. Starkly contrasting constructivism, the author shows how the commonness of the senses and the existence of social relations lead to common sense, which is the foundation of everything rational and scientific. Common sense, which comes from and with dwelling, is the ground in which all education is rooted. Any attempt to eradicate it literally uproots and thus alienates students from the life and world with which they are so familiar.
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Edited by Alfred Weinberger, Horst Biedermann, Jean-Luc Patry and Sieglinde Weyringer

In Professionals’ Ethos and Education for Responsibility, Alfred Weinberger, Horst Biedermann, Jean-Luc Patry and Sieglinde Weyringer offer insights into different concepts and applications of professionals’ ethos focusing on teachers’ ethos. Ethos refers to the responsibility of a professional, and it is considered a key element of a professional’s work. The first time mentioned in ancient Greece denoting character and habit, the word ethos nowadays has several definitions and meanings. This book intends to explore the variety of meanings, with authors in this volume drawing from established concepts of ethos and empirical research to push the field forward.
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Paulo Freire

His Faith, Spirituality, and Theology

James D. Kirylo and Drick Boyd

Paulo Freire (1921—1997) is well known around the world for his innovative educational philosophy, which has led many to consider him the “father” of both critical pedagogy and popular education. What is less known about Freire, however, is that his politics and pedagogy were informed by a faith birthed in Roman Catholicism, but which also challenged the church to move beyond individual piety to prophetic action. Freire’s spirituality was rooted in the conviction that God calls all people of goodwill to work toward fulfilling the vision of a new humanity given by God. To that end, this book—one of the first of its kind discussing Freire—examines the spirituality that was foundational to his life and teaching, inviting all who have been influenced by Freire to consider the deeper spiritual dimensions of their pedagogical and political work.
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Becoming of Two Minds about Liberalism

A Chronicle of Philosophical and Moral Development

Dwight R. Boyd

Integrating scholarly essays and personal reflections, Becoming of Two Minds chronicles a unique philosophical odyssey, a developmental journey of coming to recognize the inadequacy of liberalism in the face of some egregious social problems such as racism, while also appreciating its strengths. A Personal Prologue describing the main intellectual influences on the author locates the origins of the journey and functions as a backdrop for its interpretation.
Fifteen chronologically organized essays, divided into three parts, identify significant positions of contrast between the two minds, establishing the direction of the journey and indications of change.
Essays in Part I reflect early allegiance to liberalism and explore its core ideas as they should be interpreted to guide moral education.
Those in Part II express disaffection with that allegiance, taking a distinctly critical stance toward liberalism.
Part III then consists of essays that represent attempts to come to terms with the becoming of two minds exemplified in the tension between the ideas about liberalism expressed in Parts I and II.
A Personal Preface also introduces each of the fifteen essays. These Prefaces address questions such as why the problem of the essay was chosen, why it was approached in a particular way, and what place the essay assumes in the direction the author’s journey takes.
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The Inventive Schoolmaster

Simón Rodríguez

Walter Omar Kohan

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Leaders in Philosophy of Education

Intellectual Self-Portraits (Second Series)

Edited by Leonard J. Waks

In the late 1950s plans were initiated to bring a higher level of professionalism to the training of educational professionals. New projects included introducing contemporary scholarship from the humanities and social sciences into colleges of education to revitalize the education knowledge base. In North America and the United Kingdom, analytical philosophers were recruited to inaugurate a ‘new philosophy of education.’ Analytical philosophy of education soon spread throughout the English speaking world.
By the 1980s this analytical impulse had largely subsided. Philosophers trained in analytical philosophy and their students turned to more ambitious normative pursuits related to problems of social justice and democracy. Meanwhile, feminist philosophers opened up new issues regarding the education of women and the nature of teaching and knowing, and a new wave of pragmatist philosophers turned to issues of educational policy. By the 1990s Anglo-American philosophers of education welcomed a dialogue with counterparts in Western Europe, and the field responded to established trends in European philosophy ranging from critical theory and phenomenology to post-structuralism. New leaders emerged in philosophy of education representing all of these various strands.
This volume documents the emergence of contemporary philosophy of education as seen by those spearheading these trends.
Based on these narratives, the Foreword by Jane Roland Martin and the Afterword by Leonard Waks argue that the field is at a crossroads: it can be strengthened through generous, mutually beneficial dialogue among the various strands, bolstered by cooperation on pressing global problems of educational policy and practice, or weakened by further fragmentation and external neglect. This presents a challenge for those working in philosophy of education now and in the coming years.