Radical Imagine-Nation

Public Pedagogy & Praxis

by Peter McLaren (Volume editor) Suzanne SooHoo (Volume editor)
©2018 Textbook XII, 328 Pages
Series: Education and Struggle, Volume 13


This collection of essays, poems, and reflections by scholars, public intellectuals, artists, and community activists (as well as those whose work intersects with all of these categories) constitutes a landmark achievement in critical pedagogy and social justice education. Edited by two leaders whose work spans both academic and grassroots communities, Radical Imagine-Nation was conceived during a time of political turmoil both nationally and internationally, a time when freedom and democracy seemed out of reach for millions around the world.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • Advance Praise for Radical Imagine-Nation
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction (Suzanne Soohoo)
  • References
  • Part One: Reinventing Freire
  • Chapter One: Conscientization as an Antidote to Banking Education (Donaldo Macedo)
  • Notes
  • Chapter Two: Coming to Know Paulo (Tom Wilson)
  • PFDP Core Beliefs and Common Principles
  • Note
  • References
  • Chapter Three: Critical Pedagogy, Leadership and Institutional Reform: Paulo Freire’s “Formative Time” at the Social Services of Industry (Tricia M. Kress)
  • Paulo Freire’s Views On Leadership: Moving Beyond “Adjectival” Definitions
  • Democratizing Education With/In Sesi: Reflexive “Evaluation” and Institutional Reform
  • Institutional Reform Via Dialogue And Organizational Change
  • Conclusion: Implications For Educational Leadership and Policy
  • Notes
  • References
  • Chapter Four: A Clarification of Freire’s Radical Political Pedagogy (Keqi (David) Liu)
  • Introduction
  • Lu Xun: The True Story of AH Q
  • Freire: Radical Political Pedagogy, The Language of Possibility
  • Bourdieu: A Sociological Tool for Analyzing Oppression
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Chapter Five: Migration, Racism, and the Mediterranean—A Freirean Perspective (Leona M. English / Peter Mayo)
  • This Chapter
  • Globalization and Migration
  • Migration
  • Notes
  • References
  • Chapter Six: Utopia as Praxis: Paulo Freire Twenty Years After His Passing (Robert Lake)
  • Utopia and Paulo Freire
  • Freire in the Twenty-First Century
  • Denouncing the Banking Concept of Education—Follow the Money
  • The Political is Personal and Vice Versa
  • Martin Luther King Jr. and the Praxis of Utopia
  • Freire’s Praxis of Utopia and the Unfinished Conversation
  • Note
  • References
  • Part Two: Engaging Public Intellectuals
  • Chapter Seven: Dare We Create a New Socialist Order?: A Challenge to Educators of America in the Coming Trump Era (Peter Mclaren)
  • Note
  • References
  • Chapter Eight: Toward a Politics of Revolt and Disruption: Higher Education in Dangerous Times (Henry A. Giroux)
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Chapter Nine: Critical Leadership for Social Justice: Unveiling the Dirty Little Secret of Power and Privilege (Antonia Darder)
  • Economic Darwinism and the University
  • Conditions of Power and Privilege
  • Neoliberal Multiculturalism
  • Assault on the Borderlands
  • Critical Praxis of Leadership
  • Principles and Ethical Commitments
  • Critical Leadership Is Pedagogical
  • Critical Leadership as Moral Commitment
  • Critical Leadership Is a Political Act
  • Critical Leadership Is Not a Neutral Affair
  • Critical Leadership Is Purposeful
  • Critical Leadership as a Dialectical Process
  • Dialogue
  • Conscientization
  • Critical Democratic Negotiation
  • Ideological Intersections
  • The Cultural Context as Essential
  • Integration of Our Human Faculties
  • A Question of Ethics
  • Critical Leadership as Unfinishedness
  • Indispensable Qualities of Leadership for Social Justice
  • Ethical Qualities of Political Struggle for Social Justice
  • Ethical Qualities of Personal Struggle for Social Justice
  • The Struggle for Democratic Public Life
  • Notes
  • References
  • Chapter Ten: The Alternative to Capitalism in Light of Today’s Environmental Crises (Peter Hudis)
  • I.
  • II.
  • III.
  • IV.
  • Notes
  • References
  • Chapter Eleven: Critical Consciousness and Spirituality: Deconstructing the Colonizing Practices of U.S. Education Through the Lens of Paulo Freire and Critical Spirituality (Michael E. Dantley)
  • References
  • Chapter Twelve: I Cannot Speak for the Gun (Margaret Randall)
  • Part Three: Linking Internationalists
  • Chapter Thirteen: The Refugee Crisis in Europe: Words Without Borders (Michael A. Peters / Tina Besley)
  • “Refugee Blues,” By W. H. Auden
  • From “A Mother in a Refugee Camp,” By Chinua Achebe
  • “From Home,” By Warsan Shire
  • From “When I Am Overcome By Weakness,” By Najat Abdul Samad
  • From “I Am A Refugee,” By Mohamed Raouf Bachir
  • Notes
  • Chapter Fourteen: The Challenge of the Internationalist Critical Pedagogue (Petar Jandrić)
  • Introduction
  • Critical Pedagogy and Global Activism: Mapping the Field
  • The Integrity Constraint: Digital Cultures
  • The Humility Constraint: Epistemology
  • The Respect of Sovereignity Constraint: Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies
  • The Professionalism Constraint: The (Hypo)critical Theory
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Chapter Fifteen: Reframing Education Through Indigenous, Anti-Colonial, and Decolonial Prisms (George J. Sefa Dei)
  • Introduction
  • The Globalizing of Education
  • Towards a New Cultural Framing
  • Race and the “New Human”
  • Theorizing the “Indigenous” as an International Category
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Chapter Sixteen: Educational Project of Social Justice: The Possibilities of Intervention Against the Pedagogical Hegemony of Capitalism (Ravi Kumar)
  • References
  • Chapter Seventeen: Where I’m Bound I Can’t Tell: Radical Changes Are Still Possible in Higher Education (Peter O’Connor / Jean M. Allen / Simon Dennan)
  • References
  • Chapter Eighteen: “Miracle on Ice”: Sociological Understanding of the Finnish Schooling Model (Anna Renfors and Juha Suoranta)
  • Introduction
  • Narrative Context of Understanding the Finnish Schooling Model
  • The Progressive Era of 1960s and 1970s
  • Finnish Schooling Model in the Limelight
  • Local Schools Nurture Overall Growth
  • Public Funding Means Collective Responsibility
  • Schools Share Common Values
  • Teachers Are Trusted
  • Everyone Is Special
  • Testing Is Minimal
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • References
  • Part Four: Radicalizing Action
  • Chapter Nineteen: “Trayvon Was Standing His Ground”: Utilizing Critical Hip Hop Pedagogy to Construct Counter-Narratives of Resistance and Love (Bettina L. Love)
  • Introduction
  • Research Methods and Analysis
  • The Elements and CHHP
  • The Importance of Counter-Narratives
  • “Trayvon was standing his ground”—Anthony (5th Grader)
  • Rappin’ For Change
  • Conclusion
  • Note
  • References
  • Chapter Twenty: Toward a Raza Research Methodology: Social Science in the Service of Raza Communities (Miguel Zavala)
  • Introduction
  • First Articulation of a Raza Research Methodology: Historical Legacy of the Chicana/o Movement
  • Institutionalization of Chicana/o Spaces: Impasses and Challenges
  • Raza Communities and Traditional Social Science: Post-El Plan De Santa Barbara
  • Researching With the People: A Critical Personal Narrative
  • “¿Por qué están las cámaras ahí?” (Why Are the Cameras There?)
  • My Passage into Grassroots Research
  • Collectivizing Research Via Organic Grassroots Structures
  • Notes
  • References
  • Chapter Twenty-One: L@s Malcriad@s: A Union Based, Chican@ Studies Model Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers of Chican@ Studies (Theresa Montaño / Maria Elena Cruz)
  • Introduction
  • L@s Malcriad@s
  • Union Work and the Struggle for Ethnic Studies
  • Making Connections: Unions, Ethnic Studies and Teacher Preparation
  • What’s Next?
  • Chican@ Studies and Teacher Preparation
  • The Partnership Between Chican@ Studies and Teacher Education
  • A Union-Based, Chican@ Studies Model for Teacher Preparation
  • The “It Takes a Barrio” (ITaB) Teacher Pipeline Project
  • Conclusion
  • Next Steps for Chican@ Studies and Its Faculty
  • References
  • Contributors
  • Index
  • Series index

| ix →


The genesis of this book is the collective brainchild of academic kinspeople Don Cardinal, Susan Gabel, Donaldo Macedo, Peter McLaren, Suzanne SooHoo, Henry Giroux, Bill Ayers, Chris Myers and Margaret Grogan. We are deeply grateful to Lang editorial staff for converting our initial journal into a signature book.

Some of you already know that the first iteration of Radical Imagine-Nation came out as journal and debuted at the Chapman University AERA reception in 2016. While that dream never came to be, we are indebted to those who supported our initiative. Although their service was short lived, their belief in the value and significance of the journal as part of a larger social movement was very much appreciated.

Love to:

Associate Editors: Lilia Monzo, Anaida Colon-Muñiz, and Miguel Zavala for the personal care taking for their sections.

Editorial Board: Derek Ford, Tricia Kress, Curry Malott, Magaly Lavandez, Ann Milne, and Mara Sapon-Shevin for their willingness as the first line of review.

International Antonia Darder, Bill Ayers, Carlos Escano Gonzalez,

Advisory Board: Catherine Walsh, Donaldo Macedo, Haggith Gor Ziv, Yolanda Medina, Kevin Kumashiro, Maria Nikolakaki, Michael Peters, ← ix | x → Nicholas Hartlep, Nita Freire, Norm Denzin, Petar Jandric, Ravi Kumar, Ricardo Rosa, Sandy Grande, Wayne Ross, Wei Yu, Ming Fang He, Benji Chang, Sergio Quiroz Miranda, and Juha Suoranta for their unconditional support-in-waiting.

Peter Lang: Chris Myers, Farideh Koohi-Kamali, Sophie Appel, Bernadette Shade, Sarah Bode, Tim Swenarton and Jackie Pavlovic for shepherding this book to completion.

Artists: Erin Currier and Leo Terazzas for their inspiring artwork on the journal.

| 1 →



December 2016

At this moment …

I am in a world I don’t recognize, recovering from my own blindness and paralyzed by incomprehension of a Trump victory. Hidden in plain sight, half of my nation voted for Donald Trump and suddenly I cannot find myself.

Daily news present a never-ending spectacle of incredulous presidential appointments (head of education with no public school experience, head of environmental affairs who is suing the EPA, the only Black appointee in charge of HUD, Exxon executive as Secretary of Defense, and a president-elect who doesn’t (at least at the time of this writing) believe in factual data presented by the CIA and FBI regarding Russian hacking, affirming those social media critics who have described this time in history as an age of post-factual/post-truth where beliefs trump (pun intended) facts. It could be argued that this insanity and its vitriolic posture designed to “drain the swamp”—to remove all vestiges of existing political bureaucracy in order to replace them with a cancer that will infect the political system so that the host can die—is fueled by a Nietzschean will to power or, perhaps, just plain old-fashioned mean-spiritedness. Today, thinking the improbable is an all too real possibility (Weiner, 2007).

But this is not a voyage on the U.S.S. Enterprise where we venture to where no one has gone before. While an overturning of governments and its ruling classes has been apparent the world over—think of Egyptian Spring—in the case of the United States, it’s one sector of the ruling class overturning another sector. There are differences within these sectors, of course, which involve many cultural, moral, and legal issues and battles centering around religion, race, gender, sexuality, and immigration. And here in United States, the current social and political controversies in this revolution hint at a second Civil War or unresolved issues of the ghosts of Civil War past as evident from unapologetic boldness in promoting protectionism, white dominance—alt right and the right to carry arms.

After the election, many of my friends manifested a zombie-like trauma. Their faces became slack-jawed and lifeless. Their disbelief was disorientating, all they could manage to mouth was a hoarse whisper, “what happened?” Some still haven’t come out of the numbness, not having a chance to say goodbye to their visions of democracy or their interpretations of the common good. They are already in mourning for a civil relationship unfinished and promise and possibility unsated. On the hit television series, black-ish in the episode, “Lemons,” there is a scene where a news team laments what they believe are the incredulous results of U.S. elections. Dre, a black member of the biracial team, is seemingly frustrated by the acrimony and asks the others to think how they felt the day after the election. He proposed, “We all woke up knowing how it feels to be Black” because he explains, Black people wake up every day believing our lives are going to change even though the system is against us. “I’m used to things not going my way. I’m sorry you’re not” thus reminding us there is a prevailing example in front of us of what it looks like to move forward with unapologetic self-determination and hope in uncertain times.

When democracy is dehydrated and there is a drought of hope and inspiration or when there is crippling thirst for what is possible, we seek streams of consciousness that fill our spirits so that we become the rivers that are able over time to carve new social and political pathways of possibility. As clear waters muddy from lack of nourishment, small springs of untested feasibility sprout and struggle to crawl across the land ultimately to the ocean. The ocean represents restoration from drought. It is the life force that in turn hydrates the skies, crystalizes the mountains, and replenishes the rivers. This assurance that democracy does not die but recovers and recycles itself is fed by the hope and struggle of its people.

Struggle continues in the ocean for the seas have no rest; the waves crash relentlessly onto the shorelines sometimes leaving tide pools filled with temporary ← 2 | 3 → living artifacts from the ocean. As the fragile sea life waits to be reunited with its blanket wave, it suffers temporary thirst and exposure to environmental elements, testing its resilience, hope, and patience. How do the still winds of patience inform hope and struggle? In this moment of uncertainty, I, like the sea life, embrace a temporary refuge from the emotionally ravaging political terrain, quietly evoking reflection and hearing beyond listening to reimagine and replenish myself before returning to the ocean. It is here that I realize we, the people, are what create the oceans of hope. We, the people, are the water-rich comets and asteroids that over millions of years have traveled through limitless stretches of the imagination to create the earth’s ancient seas and breathe life into that vast and shimmering experiment we call democracy. We still yearn for democracy because our hope demands it—we will continue to do so until it is achieved.

Frederick Douglass claims, to be fully human, “It is not the light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake” because it is in these conditions of uncertainty that humankind affirms its continual state of becoming by adapting, resisting, or transforming. It is through struggle, progress is made (Foner, 1950).

Transformation is rooted in hope. Hope for a better world, for better lives, for a more humane world. As educators, coaches, and parents, we routinely look for the undiscovered potential within our youth through a lens of hope. Instead of seeing students as two-dimensional robotron test scores, we see them as multifaceted human beings with richness of depth and unpredictable insights who come to our schools and playgrounds with what Paulo Freire calls “untested feasibility” (Freire, 2010).

Let’s pose the following question: What would happen if instead of giving a student a grade of F, the student was given a UP for undiscovered potential? Instead of a failing scarlet letter, a grade of UP, undiscovered potential means I am “not yet” there. UP offers an opportunity for both teacher and student to rediscover. UP recognizes hope, implies a learning curve and a pathway to the future (Pinar, 1998; Carol Dweck TED talk). This concept of “not yet” resonates with Maxine Green’s own sense of incompleteness of “what is not yet, but can be, inspires us to work for a future we can only imagine now” (Pinar, 1998, p. 1).

Radical imagination is rooted in radical hope. Tricia Kress and Robert Lake (2013) define radical hope as “a refusal to accept the world, with all its pain and ugliness, as it is. Yet at the same time, it carries with it a responsibility to act upon our desire for a different future” (p. xiv). The stubborn persistence of hope transports us to practical hope and activism where we “struggle to create a more humane world in the attempt to alleviate human suffering” (Reynolds, 2013, p. 35) echoing Freire’s call to be agents of history (Freire, 2010) in this revolution. Hope “empowers us to continue our work for justice even as the forces on injustice may gain greater power for a time … even from the most dangerous and desperate ← 3 | 4 → situations” (hooks, 2003, pp. xiv, xv). The difference between a rebellion that disrupts society and a revolution is that a revolution includes a vision of the pursuit of a more fuller humanity (Boggs, 2012). “The dehumanization resulting from an unjust order is not a cause for despair but for hope …” (Freire, 2010, p. 91).

On the side of hope, we are witnessing among young people today a sharpened sense of political critique and activism, a willingness to become engaged as cultural workers and public intellectuals in determining their own futures, and an increasing obligation to play a larger role in shaping the social, political, and cultural landscapes by joining the struggle to re-envision and reimage the world. It is both the responsibility of evoking and acting on possibility and the intoxication of imagination and dreaming that feeds our humanity and gave birth to this journal-turned book project. “There is no change without dream, as there is no dream without hope” (Freire, 2010, p. 91).

Emanating from the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University, home of the Paulo Freire Democratic Project (PFDP), this book is guided by an editorial team made up of members of the PFDP. The PFDP is a community of progressive professors and graduate students who share a commitment to social justice and whose work and lives attempt to exemplify the pedagogical principles and values embodied in the life and teachings of Paulo Freire, patron of Brazilian education. As a community we eschew dogmatism and embrace a wide range of political and pedagogical perspectives that attempt to critique and transform the social world in ways that challenge prevailing instances and structures of racism, sexism, homophobia, white supremacy, abelism, speciesism, and other forms that germinate, manifest, and sustain oppression. We work from the perspective of dialogue and solidarity within differences to engage our imaginations and abilities in action toward social justice.

Chapman University houses the Paulo Freire Critical Pedagogy Archives at the Leatherby Libraries, which contains collections and papers relating to Paulo Freire (1921–1997), his pedagogy, and that of leading scholars in critical pedagogy. A significant portion of the archive consists of the professional papers of scholars Henry Giroux, Alma Flor Ada, Peter McLaren, and Joe L. Kincheloe.

Chapman University is the site of the only North American bust of Paulo Freire, commemorating his honorary doctorate from Chapman in 1997. Guests have enjoyed having their pictures taken with the bust, which was where Paulo’s wife, Nita Freire, along with 150 other participants, graced his memory with paper flowers made from the pages of Pedagogy of the Oppressed as part of the celebration of the archival dedication in 2015.

The goal of this book was to provide a platform for critical educators, public intellectuals, and activists from all over the world to promote, share, and discuss various new issues and developments in critical education and social movements. We sought to engage dialogically with critical scholarship and activist work in ← 4 | 5 → accessible ways that serve the common good. This book attempts to serve as a meeting place for progressive educators—from scholars to practitioners to community activists and other cultural workers. It constitutes a space where critical theorists, community activists, internationalists, and Freirean educators present new ideas for creating social relations of equality and social justice.

There are four thematic sections in the book.

Essays that describe practices by classroom teachers, cultural workers, and university folks who are using Freirean-inspired work to effect critical praxis.

Essays that feature public intellectuals/scholar-activists and critical scholarship that problematize and challenge dominant structures of power and privilege with new insights and possibilities.

Essays that connect us to critical work from different perspectives and epistemologies in the world.

The genesis of this book is the collective brainchild of academic kinspeople Don Cardinal, Susan Gabel, Donaldo Macedo, Peter McLaren, Suzanne SooHoo, Henry Giroux, Bill Ayers, Chris Myers, and Margaret Grogan. We are deeply grateful to Lang editorial staff for converting our initial journal into a signature book.


Boggs, G. L. (2012). The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Dweck, C. https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve

Foner, P. S. (Ed.). (1950). The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass. New York: International.

Freire, P. (2004). Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Continuum.

Freire, P. (2010). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. 30th Anniversary Edition. London: Continuum. ← 5 | 6 →

hooks, b. (2003). Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. New York: Routledge.

Kress, T. & Lake, R. (2013). We Saved the Best for You. The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Pinar, W. (Ed). (1998). The Passionate Mind of Maxine Greene: “I am … not yet.” Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Reynolds, W. (2013). The stubborn persistence of hope. In T. Kress & R. Lake (Eds.), We Saved the Best for You. The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Weiner, E. (2007). Critical pedagogy and the crisis of imagination. In P. McLaren & J. Kincheloe (Eds.), Critical Pedagogy, Where Are We Now? New York: Peter Lang.

| 7 →

Reinventing Freire

| 9 →

Conscientization AS AN Antidote TO Banking Education


XII, 328
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2018 (May)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2018. XII, 328 pp., 3 b/w ill., 1 table

Biographical notes

Peter McLaren (Volume editor) Suzanne SooHoo (Volume editor)

Peter McLaren and Suzanne SooHoo are both professors in the College of Educational Studies, Chapman University and are Co-Directors of the Paulo Freire Democratic Project at Chapman. They serve as Honorary Co-Directors of the Center for Critical Studies in Education, Northeast Normal University, China.


Title: Radical Imagine-Nation