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Thinking Again: Education After Postmodernism (Critical Studies in Education and Culture Series) [Paperback]

Nigel P. Blake , Paul Smeyers , Richard Smith , Paul Standish

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Book Description

April 30, 1998 0897895126 978-0897895125

The 'postmodern condition,' in which instrumentalism usurps all other considerations, has produced a kind of intellectual paralysis in the world of education. It is difficult to take issue with such shibboleths of our time as 'standards', 'effectiveness' or 'quality', or the transmission of a nation's 'heritage', yet many people sense that important values are being lost as the education systems of the developed world increasingly devote themselves to managerialism and 'performativity', the quest for efficiency and effectiveness that can be quantified.

This book shows how a sustained and telling critique of current educational policy and practice can be developed from the writings of such postmodern thinkers as Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, and Lacan. These thinkers show us new directions, making what has become over-familiar in education seem strange, and they shake us out of established ways of thinking and writing. The book reveals how very different certain aspects of education—for instance, literacy, moral education (in the home as well as the school), curriculum policy and planning—look in the light of these ideas. The book makes many of the central ideas of postmodern theory accessible by demonstrating their relevance to familiar aspects of the practice of education.

Editorial Reviews


“Full of philosophical, spiritual, metaphysical and Shakespearean references, this book is for the serious student of educational theory and philosophy. It is of equal interest to the serious reader of sociological and historical studies.”–Education Libraries

“[T]he whole text with its rich, readable, rhetorical mix of exposition, argument, jokes, and ironies.”–British Journal of Educational Studies

“Rereading philosophical and literary sources in a perceptive and engaging style, the authors offer sharp critical insights while also broadening our sense of educational possibilities.”–Nicholas Burbules, Professor of Educational Policy Studies University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign

“[A] thoroughly engrossing book that scholars and teachers will profit from reading, including those -- perhaps especially those -- who have regarded postmoderism with disdain and incomprehension.”–Eamonn Callan, Professor of Educational Policy Studies University of Alberta

“What I find most interesting is that the authors treat their main chosen poststructuralists as continuing and contributing to [the] traditional Anglo-American philosophy of education in a non-relativistic manner, rather than opposing it, which many Nietzschean based interpretations of these poststructuralists might suggest. This makes the book an important contribution to [the] philosophy of education in itself.”–Jim Marshall, Professor of Education and Dean of the Faculty of Arts University of Auckland

Book Description

The authors show how such postmodernist thinkers as Derrida, Foucault, and Lyotard illuminate puzzling aspects of education. They argue that educational theory is currently at an impasse, and that we need these new and disturbing ideas in order to think again fruitfully and creatively about education.

Product Details

  • Series: Critical Studies in Education and Culture Series
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (April 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897895126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897895125
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,168,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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