Cultural Pedagogy: Art, Education, Politics

Cultural Pedagogy: Art, Education, Politics

Cultural Pedagogy: Art, Education, Politics

Cultural Pedagogy: Art, Education, Politics

Synopsis

This is a fully informed progressive response to the recent debates surrounding the multifold issues of culture and education. Trend provides a compelling argument for integrating education and the arts more fully into our lives--both in theory and in practice. His theoretical overview of the ideological battles over texts and their discursive contexts leads into a critical analysis of how both conservative and alternative cultural education have evolved in such settings as the school, the university, and the community, and concludes by calling for a new cultural pedagogy.

Excerpt

During the last decade, numerous scholars in a variety of disciplines have increasingly focused on the notion and practice of pedagogy. Refusing to reduce the concept to transmission of knowledge and skills, the new work on pedagogy instead views the practice as a form of political and cultural production deeply implicated in the construction of knowledge, subjectivities, and social relations. The shift away from pedagogy as a form of transmission is increasingly accompanied by attempts to engage pedagogy as a form of cultural politics. Both inside and outside the academy this has involved analyzing the production and representation of meaning and how these practices and the practices they provoke are implicated in the material and ideological dynamics of social power. Increasingly, the link between education and cultural work has been viewed in light of recent developments in feminism, cultural studies, postcolonialism, deconstruction, and the new historicism.

Unfortunately, while the conception of pedagogy as the systematic production of knowledge, identities, and values has moved out of its ghettoization within the established discourses of schooling, the new discourse on pedagogy has not been able to develop a theory of articulation that links the work of cultural workers in a variety of public spheres. That is, the new discourse on pedagogy and culture lacks a theory for addressing how the relationship between pedagogical practice and cultural production can be taken up as part of a political and ethical project which links education in the broader sense to the relevancies shared by diverse cultural workers. David Trend's book admirably demonstrates how a cultural pedagogy might provide the theoretical signposts for creating a shared forum for cultural workers without denying the specificity of their work.

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