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Reimagining the Public Intellectual in Education

Making Scholarship Matter


Edited By Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin and Cynthia Reyes

While the term «public intellectual» has been used to describe scholars who seek to share their re-search with the public, little work has been done to examine the role of a public intellectual in the field of education. This book builds upon the notion of the public intellectual in a way that makes the term more accessible, using it to refer to education scholars who seek to share their research outside of academia. Media coverage of educational issues is rife with self-appointed experts on education who have claimed space in public discussions to define educational problems and dominate public dialogues on education. But where are the education researchers in these academic dialogues? This book addresses their absence, sharing the stories of scholars who are seeking to enter public dialogues and reclaim space for reasoned dialogue on education. The stories of public scholars highlighted here acknowledge that the policymaking arena is teeming with value conflicts that can lead to dismissing or ignoring research if it does not fit with political agendas.
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Chapter Three: Reframing: We are not Public Intellectuals; We are Movement Intellectuals


← 30 | 31 → CHAPTER THREE


We Are Not Public Intellectuals; We Are Movement Intellectuals


The definition of the term “public” has expanded with increased access to the Internet, and scholars have begun to engage in an examination of contemporary academics as public intellectuals. Vásquez, Flores, and Clark (2013) remind us that: “It does not happen very often that three scholars who do not typically communicate with each other, approach a creative alliance in search of a common goal” (p. 111). In defining our role within the wider public sphere, we followed Vásquez et al.’s (2013) example for approaching the task “without hidden agendas and tripping all over each other’s self-importance” (p. 111). As we pondered the question of “Are we public intellectuals? How do we see ourselves? And how do we define what we do for our communities both academically and socially? We recognized the mutual respect and collegiality we had for one another. Moreover, we realized that although we knew each other’s work, we had not taken the opportunity to reflect on the collective impact and the wide-recognition we have achieved for our work as both change agents and scholars.

Compromiso y Necesidad de Ver Cambio

Our work has been driven by compromiso y necesidad de ver cambio (commitment and the necessity to see change) embodied in a desire to make a difference in...

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