07 SES 11 A, Theoretical Perspectives on Globalization and Social Justice
Educational research has to start with fundamental questions like, What is education? And, Who profits from education? In times of globalization and the economization of education it seems paramount to address the necessity of a general education which enables especially marginalized students to deploy their imagination so that they are able to resist growing autocratic ideologies.
For that matter, the paper focuses on the well known controversial between Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) and W.E.B. DuBois (1868–1963) on the right to education for former slaves. Washington was a former slave himself who not only became a teacher but also was named the first leader of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama – a famous black college in 1881. Between 1890 and 1915 he was the dominant leader in the African-American community. His adversary DuBois is known as the father of Pan-Africanism and in 1895 became the first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University.
Washington hoped that the African-Americans could elevate themselves through hard work and economic gain. That way, so he thought, they would win the respect of white Americans. Washington believed that cooperation with supportive whites was the only way to overcome racism in the long run. DuBois blamed Washington's strategy to keep African-Americans down rather to free them and called Washington the "Great Accommodator". The sociologist DuBois fought against the demand that the education of the former slaves be primarily industrial. Contrary to that, he emphasized the necessity for higher education in order to develop the leadership capacity among the most able 10 percent African-Americans, what he called The Talented Tenth (see DuBois (2007/1903).
In my study I unfold the different arguments of the debate and supplement with ideas on education developed by the postcolonial critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak to sketch out ways to analyse the current discussions on education concerning marginalized students in Europe and the global south.
Already in the preface to the Dialectic of Enlightenment, Horkheimer and Adorno (2002/1969: xiv) lament “the operations of modern science, the major discoveries are paid for with an increasing decline of theoretical education”. Humanities as training of the imagination and judgement, what Spivak (2004b: 550) calls “ethical imagination”, is to prepare the mind to deal with complex ethical and political dilemmas. For Spivak this entails the ability to think of what is not there and resist the impulse of only thinking of oneself. “The world,” according to Spivak, “needs an epistemological change that will rearrange desires” (Spivak 2012: 2). The increasing “trivialization of the humanities” (ibid.: 288) in the contemporary globalized landscape seeks to replace this training in thinking the abstract, the singular, and the unverifiable with instrumental knowledge and informational technology, which may promise material comfort to some, but does not prepare subjects to address issues of ethical and political justice. But as Arendt already has warned us, the inability and unwillingness to judge entails the biggest threat to humanity. Spivak (2004a, b) compellingly argues that one of the most important elements of education is to prepare the mind for “intellectual performance” to deal with the ambivalences and contradictions that marks “imaginative activism” (Spivak 2012: 104).
My research interest is to formulate arguments for the reform of education in times of globalization through an historical analysis. By re-reading Washington and DuBois supplementing it with ideas on education by Spivak I aim to search for answers to the status quo of education. In order to find old answers to new questions the study tries to delineate a truly inclusive education making use of the historical traces that criss-cross contemporary educational endeavours in Europe and the global south.
Adorno, Theodor W. (2002 ): “Education after Auschwitz”, in: Tiedemann, Rolf (ed.): Can One Live after Auschwitz? A Philosophical Reader, Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp. 19-33. Du Bois, W.E.B. (2007 ): The Souls of Black Folk, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Spivak, Gayatri C. (2004a): Death of a Discipline, Calcutta/New Delhi: Seagull. Spivak, Gayatri C. (2004b): “Righting Wrongs”, in: The South Atlantic Quarterly, Vol. 103/2,3, pp. 523-58. Spivak, Gayatri C. (2012): An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.