Ideology and Curriculum

Ideology and Curriculum

Ideology and Curriculum

Ideology and Curriculum

Synopsis

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of its publication, Michael W. Apple has thoroughly updated his influential text, and written a new preface. The new edition also includes an extended interview circa 2001, in which Apple relates the critical agenda outlined in Ideology and Curriculum to the more contemporary conservative climate. Finally, a new chapter titled "Pedagogy, Patriotism and Democracy: Ideology and Education After 9/11" is also included.

Excerpt

Any analysis of the ways in which unequal power is reproduced and contested in society must deal with education. Educational institutions provide one of the major mechanisms through which power is maintained and challenged. These institutions and the manner in which they are organized and controlled are integrally related to the ways in which specificc people get access to economic and cultural resources and power. Yet, because education is usually part of the public sphere and is regulated by the state, it is also a site of conflict, since in many nations there are serious questions about whether the state is organized in ways that benefitt the majority of its citizens. Certainly the current and seemingly unremitting attacks by conservative forces on anything that is “public” in this society document how politicized this has become.

There are other, equally important issues that can be raised, of course. Education is also a site of conflict about the kind of knowledge that is and should be taught, about whose knowledge is “official” and about who has the right to decide both what is to be taught and how teaching and learning are to be evaluated. Thus, as I argue throughout this volume, a truly critical study of education needs to deal with more than the technical issues of how we teach efficiently and effectively--too often the dominant or only questions educators ask. It must think critically about education's relationship to economic, political, and cultural power.

For more than three decades I have sought to uncover the complicated connections among knowledge, teaching, and power in education. I have argued that there is a very real set of relationships among those who have economic, political, and cultural power in society on the one hand and the ways in which education is thought about, organized, and evaluated on the other. As I mentioned in the Preface to the previous edition, Ideology and Curriculum is the firrst volume of a long series of books that I have written about these issues. It is the firrst volume of what some have called the two “Apple trilogies, ” although the second trilogy has now been extended to a fourth book. As the firrst, it is largely concerned with the dynamics of ideological domination. Later books devote more attention to the realities of struggles against dominance and to the ways in which new articulations of power are now operating. It is very interesting, and certainly gratifying, to me that Ideology and Curriculum has been selected as one of the most important books in the history of Western education. I believe that this is due to the long history of groups that have strug . . .

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