This book offers description and analysis of philosophies that can provide scaffolding and justification for the construction of critical, democratic, educational theory and practice. The reader is presented with a broad, historical treatment of ideas in their social, political, economic, and educational contexts; moreover, the perennial quest for certainty is contrasted with those who have decided it has always been an unhappy, unsuccessful, and dangerous quest. Richard A. Brosio argues that the scaffolding and building materials for the construction of critical, democratic education are best provided by those thinkers who recognize epistemological uncertainty, as well as the need for a broadly inclusive human attempt to make sense of our experiences, education, and world. The cast of characters includes classical Greeks, Marx, Dewey, existentialists, liberationists, Freire, politics of identity thinkers, and postmodernists – along with a touch of green.
Richard A. Brosio
Winner of 1994 AESA Critics Award This book offers a sober assessment of power in the U.S. and its K-12 public schools. In spite of impressive democratic achievements in schools and society, the hegemonic and raw power of antidemocratic capitalism is significantly greater. The author's critical analysis, which owes a debt to the Western tradition of radical democracy, suggests that hegemony and repression are inextricably connected; therefore, the hopes for a more genuinely democratic polity - and supportive education - are problematic. An unflinchingly tough evaluation of the realities and complexities of antidemocratic power and practice is of crucial importance to present democratic projets, and the hope for their successful realization in our schools and extramural sites. The challenge of postmodern thought to democratic aspirations is considered also.