Pedagogy and the Politics of Hope: Theory, Culture, and Schooling: A Critical Reader

Pedagogy and the Politics of Hope: Theory, Culture, and Schooling: A Critical Reader

Pedagogy and the Politics of Hope: Theory, Culture, and Schooling: A Critical Reader

Pedagogy and the Politics of Hope: Theory, Culture, and Schooling: A Critical Reader

Synopsis

"A useful guide to critical pedagogy in general, & to the work of Giroux in particular." Choice "Traces the evolution of Henry Giroux's ongoing piercing analysis of the crises in education & democracy. At a time when solutions to complex social problems are arrived at in too great haste & with little theoretical foundation, Giroux reminds us how important ethics & morality are to all aspects of democratic life. This is an essential book for those working in education & all aspects of cultural studies." Carol Becker The Art Institute of Chicago

Excerpt

As editors of Westview's series The Edge:
Critical Studies in Educational Theory
, we asked Henry Giroux to put together a series of his most definitive essays from the past fifteen years so that education and cultural studies scholars could gain a sense of the roots and progression of his work. Pedagogy and the Politics of Hope is the product of that request. Giroux's work is so prodigious and multidimensional that the effort to select a manageable but comprehensive sampling of it became a frustrating chore: "How can we leave out the essay on the Frankfurt School?" or "I don't understand why the essay on the critique of reproduction theory was deleted" became common questions and observations in our deliberations. To do justice to the variety of discourses that Giroux has drawn upon or the various theoretical advances he has offered in his relatively short career would require a Quintilianesque multivolume set. We yielded to the demands of practicality; Pedagogy and the Politics of Hope is the result of our conferences. We hope that readers will find the work included here as compelling and insightful as we do. As this volume illustrates, Giroux is undoubtedly one of the most creative educational thinkers of the last third of the twentieth century, and his innovative scholarship and influence will continue into the twenty-first century and beyond.

Giroux's passion and genius revolve around the struggle for a radical democracy, both in the United States and in the world at large. Radical democracy, as he uses the term, involves the effort to expand the possibility for social justice, freedom, and egalitarian social relations in the educational, economic, political, and cultural domains that locate men, women, and children in everyday life. Thus, Pedagogy and the Politics of Hope documents the development of Giroux's trademark language of critique and possibility and the ways he deploys it in the effort to expose the forces that undermine education for a critical democracy. In the context of recent U.S. history such forces have flourished in the cocoon of Reaganism; indeed, it is in this environment that Giroux's insurgent analyses take shape. In the Age of Reagan, Giroux's introduction of Frankfurt School critical theory into the discourse of educational scholarship struck a responsive chord with those offended by duplicitous right-wing proclamations of an oppression-cleansed history of Ameri-

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