13 SES 12 A, Political Politics, Biopolitics, and Dewey’s Pragmatism
In this paper, I study democratic education from the standpoint of the philosophy of critical pedagogy. The aim is to develop a theoretical perspective that considers, how growth process towards democratic citizenship can be supported through democratic education. By democratic education, I refer to comprehensive approach in which structural-political and historical-cultural perspectives are considered, among those knowledges and skills as well as moral dispositions and emotions that can be seen worthwhile for future citizens in global times. My point of departure is that philosophical reformulation, and theoretical reconstruction of key concepts is necessary if critical pedagogy is to advance democratic education. Hence, I complement critical pedagogy with recent political theory. The paper focuses on the question, how the notion of justice can be construed by combining Carlos Torres´s critical educational theory, and feminist-political theories of justice, and how this concept contributes to democratic education?
Justice is an essential concept for the theory of education as well as for educational policies and practices of schooling, but no common understanding on how the concept of justice could, or should be interpreted and translated into educational praxis exists. Unifying element for critical pedagogues is a commitment to democratization and social transformation towards social justice, as well as struggle against present injustices. However, the philosophy of critical pedagogy is not founded on philosophical tradition of theories of justice. The substantive meaning of justice as well as the consequences of alternative conceptions of justice is left to little consideration.
I scrutinize the conception of justice within the context of Torres´s critical educational philosophy which is a critical modernist framework grounded in theories of the state, and perspective of class, race and gender. Secondly, I complement it with recent feminist-political theories of justice. By doing so, I construe a robust concept of political (in)justice, that is theoretically congruent with basic assumptions of critical and feminist pedagogies. For both, a notion of injustice must be the starting point for all analyzes on social justice. As a wider research question, I ask what is the relevance of Carlos Torres´s critical educational theory for democratic education, and how the recent political theory contributes to the philosophy of critical pedagogy and democratic education?
As method, I apply a philosophical approach which provides means for critical examination of the theoretical premises and groundings of contemporary theories. Philosophical analysis means here studying characteristics of theories through philosophical conceptual analysis, reconstruction, and analyzing their presumptions, and argumentative basis.
My research aims to increase the understanding of present theoretical challenges, and societal tasks of democratic education. With the expected outcomes I seek to formulate one possible concept of justice which could inform democratic education today. It is structural-procedural concept of justice in which the political, and power with its multiple forms plays a central role. The concept sets the focus on issues of justification and legitimation. The results will also create connections between critical pedagogy and recent feminist oriented political theory.
Clark, John. A. (2006) Social Justice, Education and Schooling: Some Philosophical Issues. British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol. 54, No. 3. Pages 272–287. Freire, Paulo (1997). Pedagogy of the Heart. New York: Continuum. Freire, Paulo (1998). Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum. Freire, Paulo (1998a). Politics and Education. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center publications. Freire, Paulo (1998b). Pedagogy of Freedom. New York: Rowan & Littlefield publishers inc. Fraser, Nancy. (2015) Legitimation Crisis? On the Political Contradictions of Financialized Capitalism. Critical Historical Studies. Fall p, 157–189. Fraser, Nancy (2013) Fortunes of Feminism: from State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis. London: Verso. Fraser, Nancy (2008a) Abnormal Justice. Critical Inquiry 34 p, 393–421. Fraser, Nancy. & Honneth, Axel (2003) Redistribution or recognition? A Political-Philosophical Exchange. London: Verso. Lindgard, Bob. Keddie, Amanda. (2013) Redistribution, recognition, and representation: working against pedagogies of indifference. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, Vol. 21, No. 3 p, 427-447. Mouffe, Chantal. (2013) Agonistics – Thinking the World Politically. London, New York: Verso. Torres, Carlos A. (1998). Democracy, Education and Multiculturalism – Dilemmas of Citizenship in a Global World. New York: Rowan & Littlefield. Torres, Carlos. A. (1999) Critical Theory and political sociology of education: Arguments. In: Popkewitz, Thomas. S. Fendler, Lynn. (eds.) Critical theories in education changing terrains of knowledge and politics. New York: Routledge. s. 87-116. Torres, Carlos A. (2013a). The Secred Adventures of Order: Globalization, Education and Transformative Social Justice Learning. Estudos: RBEP. Torres, Carlos. Alberto. (2013b) Neoliberalism as a new historical bloc: a Gramscian analysis of neoliberalism´s common sense in education. In International studies in Sociology of Education. 23 (2) Torres, C. A. (2014) The first Freire. Early Writings in Social Justice Education. New York: Teachers College Press. Torres, Carlos. A. (2015) Global Citizenship and Global Universities. The Age of Global Interdependence and Cosmopolitanism. European Journal of Education, Vol. 50, No. 3, pages, 262-273. Torres, Carlos. A. (2015a) Solidarity in a global context: Comparable concepts in global citizenship education? The International Educational Journal: Comparative perspectives Vol. 14, No. 2, pages, 22-29. Young, Iris. M. (1990) Justice and the politics of difference. Princeton university press. Young, I. M. (2006) Education in the context of Structural Injustice: A symposium response. Educational Philosophy and Theory, Vol. 38, No. 1, pages. 93-10 Young, I. M. (2011) Responsibility for Justice. Oxford University press.
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