Challenging and complex questions around inequality and power have been persistent within modern systems of education since their inception. But in the last four or five decades the vibrant field of critical education has developed and grown in response to such issues. Specifically, education scholars adopting a critical approach seek to interrogate how social, economic, cultural, linguistic, racial, sexual, and other forms of difference intersect and play out within school policy and classroom practices. Additionally, such scholars have shed light on the ways in which education can transform schools and society to be more just and radically democratic.
The learned editors of this landmark Routledge Major Work collection argue that the field of critical education has become central within educational research. Most teacher-training programmes include courses that examine both the problems of inequality in education, and also how teachers and scholars can work to ameliorate those same problems. Moreover, the reach of critical educational research, policy, and practice is now truly international. The influence of these perspectives in Brazil and throughout Latin America, in part due to the work of Paulo Freire, is particularly striking. Powerful currents of critical education can also be found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. For example, entire states within India have based their efforts in school reform and the interruption of educationally driven inequalities around the principles of critical pedagogic and curricular traditions, arguments, and practices that have been enunciated in the literature. Another example can be found in China, where Beijing Normal University--which has the most influential school of education in China--has established a research centre in the name of the lead editor of this collection to document and spread the national and international influences of critical education.
With the established and growing potency and influence of critical education across national borders, this new Routledge title answers the need for an authoritative reference work to enable users to map and make sense of critical approaches to education. The volumes focus on both historical antecedents in the field (including key works produced before the term 'critical education' gained wide currency but which anticipate approaches now included under that rubric), as well as what might be considered foundational or guiding texts that broke new theoretical or political ground in their time. They also address crucial controversies and contradictions, while bringing together some of the sharpest and most insightful pieces of contemporary critical education scholarship and points towards significant new directions in the field.
Supplemented with a full index, and general and volume introductions, newly written by the editors, which situate the collected materials in their historical and intellectual context, Critical Education is certain to be appreciated by scholars, students, and researchers as a vital reference and pedagogic resource.
About the Author:
Edited and with a new introduction by Michael W. Apple, University of Wisconsin, USA; and
Wayne Au, University of Washington, USA