Explorations of Educational Purpose
We live in an era where forms of education designed to win the consent of students, teachers, and the public to the inevitability of a neo-liberal, market-driven process of globalization are being developed around the world. In these hegemonic modes of pedagogy questions about issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, colonialism, religion, and other social dynamics are simply not asked. Indeed, questions about the social spaces where pedagogy takes place—in schools, media, corporate think tanks, etc.—are not raised. When these concerns are connected with queries such as the following, we begin to move into a serious study of pedagogy:
- what knowledge is of the most worth?
- whose knowledge should be taught?
- what role does power play in the educational process?
- how are new media re-shaping as well as perpetuating what happens in education?
- how is knowledge produced in a corporatized politics of knowledge?
- what socio-political role do schools play in the twenty-first century?
- what is an educated person?
- what is intelligence?
- how important are socio-cultural contextual factors in shaping what goes on in education?
- can schools be more than a tool of the new American (and its Western allies’) twenty-first century empire?
- how do we educate well-informed, creative teachers?
- what roles should schools play in a democratic society?
- what roles should media play in a democratic society?
- is education in a democratic society different than in a totalitarian society?
- what is a democratic society?
- how is globalization affecting education?
- how does our view of mind shape the waywe think of education?
- how does affect and emotion shape the educational process?
- what are the forces that shape educational purpose in different societies?
These, of course, are just a few examples of the questions that need to be asked in relation to our exploration of educational purpose. This series of books can help establish a renewed interest in such questions and their centrality in the larger study of education and the preparation of teachers and other educational professionals.
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