UBC Faculty Response to scholasticide in Palestine

UBC Faculty Response to scholasticide in Palestine

Message from Faculty for Palestine at UBC:

Israel has critically damaged or destroyed every one of Gaza’s 11 universities, over 370 schools, and countless libraries and irreplaceable archives. The destruction has been widely recognized as constituting scholasticide, a term coined by Palestinian scholar Karma Nabulsi to name the systematic destruction of Palestinian pedagogical institutions and murder of Palestinian scholars. Our colleagues in the Palestinian professoriate and their students are not only suffering from the immediacy of genocidal violence today, but also from the extent of the destruction are being denied a future for higher education in Gaza.

All the while, UBC continues to maintain institutional ties with Israeli institutions such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, which are deeply implicated in military research, development and training of the Israeli state and its armed occupation forces. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has, since 2004, called for a boycott of Israeli institutions for these reasons, and for their discrimination against Palestinian students and violations of international law. Moreover, it is critical to consider the ways in which UBC’s study abroad programs in Israel are in direct and clear violation of UBC’s own non-discrimination policies because not all students are able to participate in them.

UBC’s silence and inaction is unacceptable. We urge the administration as a responsible educational institution to acknowledge the scholasticide in Gaza, and take steps to review and end ties with Israeli institutions that support genocide and occupation. Steps must be taken to build fruitful ties with institutions in Palestine that have been severely debilitated in the last few months and many decades of occupation preceding them.

Please find below, a statement crafted by the Palestinian-Canadian Artists and Academics Network (PCAAN), Faculty for Palestine Canada, and Jewish Faculty Network (National), and join the call for these demands at UBC by signing in support.

Joint Statement on Canadian Universities and Palestine

In light of the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel in relation to grave breaches of the Genocide Convention, we are writing to you on behalf of Faculty for Palestine Canada, the Jewish Faculty Network and the Palestinian-Canadian Academics and Artists Network to request that your university take urgent action to protect and support educators and the education system in the Gaza Strip.

 Over the past four months, we have witnessed Israel’s wholesale destruction of the post-secondary education system in Gaza, which is made up of over 625,000 students and about 23,000 teachers and professors, all of whom have been impacted by the war. As of 24 January 2024, Israel has killed 4,327 students and injured 8,109. Further, Israel has killed 231 teachers and administrators and injured 756. The number of students and educational staff killed in such a short period is unprecedented in the region’s history. Those students and teachers who have not been killed are among the more than 1.7 million people who have been forcibly displaced and who are living in overcrowded and unsanitary shelters or sleeping in the open. Like the rest of the population in Gaza, they are at risk of dying of hunger and disease, with no access to food, potable water, electricity, heating or medicine. While our current focus is on higher education, analyzing the broader picture of the Gaza education system reveals a devastating reality of long-term destruction, amounting to what experts term “scholasticide.” Israel has destroyed higher education infrastructure in Gaza on an unprecedented scale, the impact of which cannot be understood without also considering the massive destruction of elementary and secondary school education and staff. Taken together, this illustrates how a whole generation of students, teachers, and infrastructure is being destroyed.

Israeli forces have killed 94 members of Gaza’s higher education community, including numerous internationally respected scholars, deans, university presidents, and medical professors, who comprised part of the region’s intellectual leadership. These include Professor Sufian Tayeh, president of the NL Islamic University of Gaza, who – having won a prestigious fellowship – undertook research as a visitor at the University of Waterloo in 2021. Other scholars who have been killed by Israel are Professor Muhammad Eid Shabir, a microbiologist and Tayeh’s predecessor at the university for 15 years, Dr Said Al-Zubda, president of the University College of Applied Sciences, and Professor Refaat Alareer, who was co-founder of the ‘We Are Not Numbers’ project and one of Palestine’s most prominent intellectuals in Gaza.

Israel has systematically targeted all of Gaza’s universities. On 17 January, Israel blew up Al-Israa University, the last university left standing in Gaza after it was used as an Israeli military base for 70 days. Footage shared by the BBC shows the university being completely destroyed. This act of wanton destruction follows the repeated targeting by Israel of Gaza’s universities since the start of its military operation: the Islamic University was bombed on 11 October; the University College of Applied Sciences was bombed on 19 October; on 4 November, Israeli forces bombed Al Azhar University, the second largest university in Gaza, and this was followed by the destruction of the North Gaza branch of Al Quds University on 15 November. The medical school in the Islamic University was bombed on 10 December. The Palestine Technical College was also bombed and has been severely damaged. Al-Aqsa University was bombed on February 6th, 2024, destroying two buildings, and civilians sheltering in the university buildings were fired at.

In addition to the destruction of universities, as of mid-December 2023, 378 school buildings had been damaged, which amounts to more than 70% of Gaza’s education infrastructure. Israeli soldiers have filmed some of their acts of destruction, including one video that shows the moment the Israeli army blew up a UN school in Beit Hanoun in December. As a result of the destruction of Gaza’s schools, hundreds of thousands of children who have already been deprived of education for several months will not have a school to return to once Israel’s attacks subside. Moreover, Israeli forces have attacked multiple schools serving as temporary shelters, killing Palestinians who sought refuge in them. For example, in November 2023, Israeli forces attacked the UNRWA- run Al-Fakhoura and Al-Buraq schools, killing at least 50 people and wounding many others, while in December 2023, eyewitnesses attested to the execution of 7 people, including children, in attacks on Shadia Abu Ghazala School.

In addition to Israel’s scholasticide in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army that is illegally occupying the West Bank has been actively dismantling the higher education infrastructure in the territory. Hundreds of checkpoints have crippled freedom of movement for students and faculty members. University campuses, such as Birzeit University have been closed since October 7th. In addition, even before the most recent wave of destruction, the Israeli army has frequently violated the sanctity of university campuses to arrest student leaders, most recently on September 27th at Birzeit University.

Israel’s killing of students and academic staff and its deliberate destruction of educational infrastructure constitute breaches of international humanitarian law, which requires Israel to take all feasible measures to spare civilians and civilian objects. It is self-evident that Israel has failed to comply with these requirements. As the UN Secretary-General noted in late October, ‘we are witnessing…clear violations of international humanitarian law…in Gaza’. Further, as South Africa argued before the ICJ, Israel’s attacks on education and students should be viewed as further evidence that Israel is deliberately inflicting on Palestinians in Gaza conditions calculated to bring about their destruction, in contravention of the Genocide Convention. As you know, the ICJ has ruled that South Africa’s case that Israel has committed genocide in Gaza is a plausible one.

In light of all of the above, we request that our university do the following:

 Palestinian-Canadian Artists and Academics Network (PCAAN)

Faculty for Palestine Canada

Jewish Faculty Network (National)

Socio-economic and political education in schools and universities

Economy, society and politics: Socio-economic and political education in schools and universities, edited by Christian Fridrich, Udo Hagedorn, Reinhold Hedtke, Philipp Mittnik, Georg Tafner is a new English language edition of a book originally published in 2021, Wirtschaft, gesellschaf und politick: Sozioökonomische und politische bildung in schule und hochschule.

The interconnections of economy, society and politics so obviously determine socio-economic and political structures and problem situations, current ways of thinking and acting as well as the collective perception of solution options that their still low attention in university teaching and school education is surprising. Phenomena such as pandemics, climate change, migration or authoritarianism make the close, complex and contradictory connections between economy, society and politics tangible. Against this background, socioeconomic research, teaching and education are urgently needed.

The volume aims to contribute to this by presenting research contributions on problem complexes such as economy and democracy, perspectivity and multiperspectivity, situation, interest and politics, subject and subjectification, and discipline and curriculum.

The book originated from papers presented at a conference sponsored by the Association for Socio-Economic Education and Research [GSÖBW – Gesellschaft für Sozioökonomische Bildung und Wissenschaft] held at University College of Teacher Education Vienna [Pädagogische Hochschule Wien], Austria, in February 2020.

I was honoured to give one of the keynote talks at the GSÖBW in Vienna and my talk appears as one of the chapters in the new English edition (as well as the German edition).

Petition: Demand That the Nakba Be Added to the B.C. Curriculum

Demand That the Nakba Be Added to the B.C. Curriculum

Join us and sign the petition to get the Nakba in the B.C. curriculum!

With the ongoing genocide in Gaza, colonization of Palestine, and widespread misinformation, it is time that the Ministry of Education add the Nakba to the B.C. elementary and secondary Social Studies curricula.

The Nakba, or “catastrophe,” which took place between 1947 and 1949, was the violent dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that led to the creation of the state of Israel. Over 700,000 Palestinians were forcefully expelled from their homes, more than 15,000 were massacred, and over 500 of their villages were destroyed. The Nakba is essential context to the history of Palestine and Israel, yet is seldom talked about in the West.

The B.C. Social Studies curricula focus on historical atrocities including the colonization of Turtle Island (North America), the Holocaust, and the Rwandan genocide, but there is no mention whatsoever of the Nakba. To uphold our commitment to social justice, decolonization, and reconciliation, it is imperative that we ensure students do not leave the education system completely ignorant of the history of Palestine and Israel. We cannot have yet another generation grow up believing it’s “too complicated” or “too sensitive.” It is time we teach about the Nakba.

Endorsed by:
Teachers 4 Palestine BC
Independent Jewish Voices Vancouver, Victoria, and UBC
Canada Palestine Association-Vancouver
BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish Territories
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Labour for Palestine Vancouver & Victoria
Palestinian Youth Movement Vancouver
Parents for Palestine
Freedom From War Coalition

ABEH launches book: The Gifts of History Teaching

ABEH launches book: The Gifts of History Teaching

03/12/2024

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This week ABEH launched the book  The Gifts of History Teaching: (re)constructions on new bases , organized by professors Juliana Alves de Andrade (UFRPE) and Luis Fernando Cerri (UEPG), which is part of the productions resulting from the  XIII National Meeting of History Teaching Researchers (ENPEH), which took place between November 9th and 11th, 2022, at the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE), in Recife.

The book brings together discussions produced by the event’s speakers, as well as coordinators of Dialogue Research Groups (GPD), which address reflections on public policies,  concerns  around culture, political issues and the teaching of History, in addition to of discussions on research into the teaching of History and its subjects.

As the organizers write in the book presentation:

” We live in times of reconstruction and democratic vigilance. We are certain that, with this collection, ABEH offers its  work and its associates as material and as workers  for this great work.”
The work, which adds to the series Research on teaching history in present times , also resulting from XIII ENPEH, is available on the association’s website . The access is open and free

XII International Conference on Critical Education (Ankara, Turkey)

XII International Conference on Critical Education

Ankara University
July 3-6, 2024

REVITALIZING THE WORK OF CRITICAL EDUCATION IN AN AGE OF MULTIDIMENSIONAL CRISIS: COMMUNITY, STRUGGLE AND RESISTANCE

Living in an age of economic, social, political, personal, and ecological crises, educators and school communities face serious physical and mental risks, tensions and other challenges. Under the effect of rising authoritarianism, conservatism, commodification, inequality, pseudoscience, fatalism, war, migration, unemployment, poverty, racism, misogyny, discrimination, displacement, abuse and xenophobia, educators and students feel more andmore insecure, hopeless, powerless, and become isolated from the community. There has been an increase in neoliberal, neo-conservative, andanti-democratic, authoritarian pressures on education, becoming the most significant and current obstacles to development, emancipation and humanization of both educators and students. Curricula have been structured to align with the requirements of the neoliberalism and neo-conservatism diverting from the liberating educational practices. While public education is diminished and discredited with lower funds, unscientific education, private schools are skyrocketing. The ideal of education for public good has been replaced by commodified education. Multiple intertwined crises require a response and community effort that interrupts paralysis, isolation. For these reasons, against all these attacks and the current of isolation, atomization, objectivation, and fragmentation, we would like to convene in the XII.International Conference on Critical Education in Ankara, Turkey, as the space of people where the powers and ideas can be developed, our solidarity and sense of community are refreshed, and we reconstruct new ways of resistance, struggle, and transformation.

We open this call for papers with some comments on our theme and purpose. We welcome all to join our conference which aims to advance and strengthen research, pedagogy, struggle, and critical community. Educators under the stress need this fellowship with new urgency. Critical educators are a foremost ally with democratic communities of struggle facing new attacks on the historic expansions of democracy and its promise. Fresh attempts to rebuild the discredited means of unjust exclusion now intensify at the head waters of the river of historic progress for the oppressed.

We welcome critical educators, progressive thinkers, and students to participate in the XII International Conference on Critical Education, fostering solidarity within community to seek new sources of inspiration, learning experiences, and tools of struggle, in order to build a democratic, scientific,libertarian, egalitarian, public, and secular education.

The International Conference on Critical Education, previously held in Athens (2011, 2012, 2017), Ankara ( 2013), Thessaloniki (2014, 2022), Wroclaw (2015), London (2016, 2018), Naples ( 2019), Valetta, Malta (2023) is a forum for scholars, educators and activists committed to social justice and social emancipation.

This conference, will be hosted by the Ankara University Institute of Educational Sciences with the help of the Faculty of Educational Sciences and its departments. The 12th ICCE will take place at the Cebeci Campus of the University of Ankara.

The Language of the conference will be English and Turkish.

Preview of The Social Studies Curriculum (5th Edition)

The Social Studies Curriculum (5th Ed) The fifth edition of The Social Studies Curriculum: Purposes, Problems, and Possibilities will be published later this year by State University of New York Press.

The Social Studies Curriculum, Fifth Edition updates the definitive overview of the issues teachers face when creating learning experiences for students in social studies. The book connects diverse elements of the social studies curriculum – social issues, history, cultural studies – offering a unique and critical perspective that separates it from other texts. The social studies curriculum is contested terrain both epistemologically and politically and this completely updated book includes new chapters on politics of social studies curriculum, historical perspective, critical historical inquiry, Black education and critical race theory, whiteness and anti-racism, decolonial literacy and decolonizing the curriculum, gender and sexuality, Islamophobia, critical media literacy, evil in social studies, economics education, anarchism, children’s rights and Earth democracy, and citizenship education. Readers are encouraged to reconsider their assumptions and understandings of purposes, nature, and possibilities of the social studies curriculum.

Here’s a preview of the Table of Contents as as well as a a PDF of the book’s preface and introduction:

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

Introduction:  Curriculum Ideologies, Social Studies Traditions, and the Teacher-Curriculum Encounter
E. Wayne Ross

Part 1: Purposes of the Social Studies Curriculum

1. It is All Indoctrination: Power and the Impossibility of Apolitical Social Studies Curriculum
Wayne Au

 2. A Curricular Reading of Historical Perspective, Agency, and Viral Futures in Social Education
Kent den Heyer

3. A Critical Media Literacy Analysis of Social Studies Education
Emil Marmol

Part II: Social Issues and the Social Studies Curriculum

4. Beyond the Nation-State: A Foundational and Black Diasporic Examination of the Politics of Black Educational Curriculum
Christopher Busey & Tianna Dowie-Chin

5. The Politics of Black History in the United States: Black History Mandates and Anti-Critical Race Theory Laws
LaGarrett J. King, Brianne Pitts & Daniel Tulino

6. Does Social Studies Want to be Anti-Racist? Thoughts on Decentering Whiteness in Curriculum
Andrea M. Hawkman

7. Social Studies as a site for Building Decolonial Literacy
Shannon Leddy

8.Settler Social Studies: On Disappointment and Hope for the Future
Sarah Shear & Leilani Sabzalian

9. A Queer Agenda for Gender<>Sexuality and Social Education
Sandra J. Schmidt

10. Responding to Islamophobia in the Classroom
Özlem Sensoy

Part III: The Social Studies Curriculum in Practice

11. Critical Historical Inquiry: Disrupting the Dominant Narrative
Cinthia Salinas & Brooke Blevins

12.Studying Evil in Social Studies
Cathryn van Kessel

13. Does She Even Go Here? Economics and its Place in Social Studies Education
Erin C. Adams

14.An Eco-Anarchic Social Studies: Teaching for Children’s Rights and Earth Democracy
Brandon Edwards-Schuth & John Lupinacci

15.Teaching for Critically Engaged Denizenship: Lessons from Morocco on Teaching for an Empowered Other Civic Status
Jennice McCafferty Wright

16.Dangerous Citizenship
E. Wayne Ross

Part IV: Afterword

17. What is the Future of Social Studies Curriculum?
E. Wayne Ross

 

Critical Education Call for Manuscripts: Palestinian Liberation in Education

Critical Education

Palestinian Liberation in Education: Solidarities and Activism for a Free Palestine

Special Issue Editor:

Hanadi Shatara
Assistant Professor
California State University, Sacramento
h.shatara@csus.edu

Overview and Aims:

Starting even before 1948, Palestinians and activists for a free Palestine continue to raise global awareness of the oppression and struggles of the Palestinian people. The genocidal events of October 2023 in Gaza along with the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinians did not happen in a vacuum, but are informed by the historical context of Palestine and the continued activism that has expanded due to social media. Young Palestinian journalists such as Bisan Owda, Plestia Alaqad, and Motaz Azaiza are documenting in real time the atrocities within Gaza (Arafat, 2023) and many young social media consumers are speaking out and becoming civically engaged for Palestine (Roscoe, 2023), all while social media companies are censoring Palestine specific posts (Shankar, et al., 2023). Large scale protests and solidarity rallies for Palestine are happening around the world and almost every continent (Al Jazeera, 2023) with the possibility of free speech under threat in Europe when speaking for Palestine (Rajvanshi, 2023). Organizations led by young people such as the Palestinian Youth Movement, Students for Justice in Palestine university groups, and the Arab Resource and Organizing Center are showing the world capacity and volition for a free Palestine. With the increasing acts of civic engagement, these conversations have permeated into classrooms throughout the world.

Conversations on freedom dreaming for educational justice (Love, 2023) must connect social justice and critical education to Palestinian struggles, activism, and realities, and call for a free Palestine. Several critical education organizations have spoken out for Palestine and provided supports for educators and education researchers to use in their (un)learning. For example, the Abolitionist Teaching Network spoke in solidarity with Palestine on social media and curated resources for teachers in ways to teach Palestine and raise awareness of the liberation movement (Abolitionist Teaching Network, 2023). The Zinn Education Project (2023) in partnership with Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change also provided lessons and other resources to speak about the violence and historical context in Palestine.

Yet, with these avenues of resources, there is much to learn about Palestine in the context of education. Silencing occurs within educational spaces, through social studies and ethnic studies curriculum (Morrar, 2020; Shatara, 2022) and dismissing the experiences of Palestinian young people in schools (Abu El-Haj, 2015; Shatara 2023). For example, in November 2023, a Palestinian American boy was suspended for saying “Free Palestine” when another student called him a terrorist (Conybeare & Ramos, 2023). Given these realities, how do critical educators decolonize their teaching and research to connect to themes of global oppression, resistance, solidarity, freedom dreaming, and liberation for and with Palestine and Palestinians?

Description of Invited Articles:

For this issue, I invite scholars, educators, and activists to connect their work in education to Palestine. I seek submissions for a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, empirical and conceptual research, critical social theoretical framings, and varying formats to engage with solidarities and educational activism for Palestine. Papers can be conceptual, theoretical, empirical with varying critical methodologies. Potential manuscripts can include interviews with Palestinian teachers and activists, book, film, curricula, and media reviews, field reports, as well as traditional academic papers. Some of the questions, but not limited to these, that papers can engage with include:

  • What does it mean to be a critical educator with regards to Palestine?
  • How can or do educators support the centering and (un)learning of Palestine in critical education work?
  • How do global themes of (settler) colonialism, imperialism, oppression, resistance, solidarity, freedom dreaming, and joy connect to the overall mission of critical education?
  • How can Critical Race Studies, decolonial and post-colonial theories frame the work in education for Palestine?
  • How can teachers and activists work together to teach Palestine in classrooms?

Timeline:

Abstracts (500 words) due to Editor via email (h.shatara@csus.edu): February 28, 2024.
Decisions of Acceptance: March 15, 2024
Manuscript due to Editor: August 9, 2024
Manuscripts under review: August 10 – September 30, 2024
Manuscripts returned to authors for revision: October 11, 2024
Final Manuscript due to Editor: November 8, 2024
Publication of Special Issue: December 6, 2024

About the Editor:

Dr. Hanadi Shatara is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Sacramento. She received her doctorate in Social Studies Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on critical global education, critical world history, teacher positionalities, the representations of Southwest Asia and North Africa, Palestinian and Arab American teachers, the teaching of Palestine, and teacher education. Her work is published in The Critical Social Educator, Social Studies and the Young Learner, Social Studies Research and Practice, and Curriculum Inquiry. She has also published several book chapters with the most recent called “This is not about religion: Troubling the perceptions of Palestine and Palestinians” with co-author Dr. Muna Saleh in the edited volume Religion, the First Amendment, and Public Schools: Stories from K-12 and Teacher Education Classrooms. Dr. Shatara was also a middle school social studies teacher for seven years in Philadelphia, PA, where she became a National Board Certified Teacher.

About Critical Education:

 Critical Education is an international, refereed, open access journal published by the Institute for Critical Education Studies (ICES). Contributions critically examine contemporary education contexts, practices, and theories. Critical Education publishes theoretical and empirical research as well as articles that advance educational practices that challenge the existing state of affairs in society, schools, higher education, and informal education. ICES, Critical Education, and its companion publication Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, defend the freedom, without restriction or censorship, to disseminate and publish reports of research, teaching, and service, and to express critical opinions about institutions or systems and their management. Co-Directors of ICES, co-Hosts of ICES and Workplace blogs, and co-Editors of these journals resist all efforts to limit the exercise of academic freedom and intellectual freedom, recognizing the right of criticism by authors or contributors.

Author Guidelines: https://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/criticaled/about/submissions

References

Abolitionist Teaching Network [@ATN_1863]. (2023, November 17). Our schools continue to be a vital space for teaching and organizing for a free Palestine. Here are a few resources to inspire conversations in your classrooms. Comment ⬇️ with materials & lesson plans you’re finding inspiring & activating #Educators4Palestine [Images attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/ATN_1863/status/1725700843729473713?s=20.

Abu El-Haj, T. R. (2015). Unsettled Belonging: Educating Palestinian American Youth after 9/11. University of Chicago Press.

Al Jazeera. (2023, November 17). In photos: People protest Israel’s war on Gaza across the world. Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2023/11/17/photos-people-protest-israeli-war-on-gaza-across-the-world.

Arafat, Z. (2022, December 29). Gaza through my Instagram feed. New York Magazine. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/bisan-plestia-motaz-gaza-through-my-instagram-feed.html.

Conybeare, W. & Ramos, A. R. (2023, November 15). Orange County student suspended for saying ‘Free Palestine,’ family claims. KTLA. https://ktla.com/news/local-news/orange-county-student-suspended-for-saying-free-palestine/#:~:text=The%20family%20of%20a%20student,being%20suspended%20for%20three%20days.

Love, B. (2023). Punished for dreaming: How school reform harms Black children and how we heal. St. Martin’s Press.

Morrar, S. (2020, November 6). Changes to ethnic studies in California include expansion on Asian American lessons The Sacramento Bee. https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article247016937.html.

Rajvanshi, A. (2023, October 23). Europe’s balancing act: Protecting free speech while curbing anti-Israel rhetoric. Time. https://time.com/6326360/europe-palestine-protests-free-speech/.

Roscoe, J. (2023, November 13). TikTok: It’s not the algorithm, teens are just pro-Palestine. Vice. https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxjb8b/tiktok-its-not-the-algorithm-teens-are-just-pro-palestine.

Shankar, P., Dixit, P., & Siddiqui, U. (2023, October 24). Shadowbanning: Are social media giants censoring pro-Palestine voices? Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2023/10/24/shadowbanning-are-social-media-giants-censoring-pro-palestine-voices.

Shatara, H. (2022). “Existence is Resistance”: Palestine and Palestinians in social studies education. In S. B. Shear, N. H. Merchant, & W. Au (Eds.), Insurgent social studies: Scholar-Educators disrupting erasure & marginality. Myers Education Press.

Shatara, H. (2023). Critical Political Consciousness within Nepantla as Transformative: The Experiences and Pedagogy of a Palestinian World History Teacher. Curriculum Inquiry. 53(1), 28-48. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/03626784.2022.2123214

Zinn Education Project. (2023, December 4). Teaching About the Violence in Palestine and Israel. Zinn Education Project. https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/violence-in-israel-and-gaza/.

Call for Submissions: Critical Education special issue on “Neoliberal Capitalism and Public Education”

Critical Education

Special Issue Call: Neoliberal Capitalism and Public Education

Special Issue Editor:
Lana Parker
Associate Professor, Education University of Windsor, Canada Lana.parker@uwindsor.ca

The Status of Public Education: Documenting Neoliberal Capitalism’s Harms and Advocating for the Common Good

Overview and Aims:

 “The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.” (Marx, 1859/1977)

Seen as a common or public good, public education offers the foundation for a more equal, just, and democratic society. As Biesta and Säfström (2023) suggest, “public education can be seen as the expression of the democratic values of liberty, equality, and solidarity. … [It has also] played a key role in promoting and sustaining these values” (Public education and the rise of neoliberalism section, emphasis in original). In this vein, a well-funded public school offers opportunities for community, fellowship, ethical relationality, and the development of critical, creative capacities (Parker, 2021, 2023a, 2023b). An economically healthy public system is marked, among other things, by: small class sizes; good teacher wages and the high levels of teacher training attendant to those wages; rich and diverse programming for all students; resources and infrastructure in good repair; and, most significantly, independence from market interests and from reliance on private sources of revenue.

Despite this underlying potential, however, any defense of education as a public good must resist nostalgia, ahistoricism, or conservativism. That is, though public education holds promise, it has also often been rooted in material, cultural, and ideological conditions of exclusion (Nelson et al., 2022). As such, public education as a common good, and the related argument against privatization, must include two parallel, though not mutually exclusive, understandings: First, that the legacy of public education in many countries has often been unjust in its implementation. Second, that although as a system it has been imperfect in its practice of equality and justice, it still represents the most powerful foundation from which to seek and improve these aims.

Decades of neoliberal capitalism have had a corrosive effect on public education systems around the world. Peters (2021) notes that one of the guiding objectives of neoliberalism is to displace the idea of public goods with the notion of public choice. This permits the entry of market ideals, profit motives, and choice through every facet of educational systems and policies. For example,

the neoliberal belief that public education funding is inefficient permits systematic and prolonged underfunding and diversions of tax-payer dollars to private schools. Neoliberal perceptions of choice and the focus on the individual versus the collective serve to similarly undermine arguments for public education for all. Further, the very premise of education — the answer to the fundamental question of what is education for? — has been reshaped by neoliberal values of economic competition and unmitigated capitalist growth. In all, scholars have documented that neoliberalism in education influences all education policy, curriculum, and pedagogy, as well as refashions the underlying economic fiscal supports that uphold the public system.

What is sometimes obscured, and perhaps increasingly so as neoliberalism enjoins neoconservative ideologies, is that the underlying mechanism of neoliberal capitalism is economic. Its project has been about converting previously public goods into terrain for marketization and competition, with an emphasis on generating profits that are concentrated into the hands of a few. As such, this special issue will focus on revealing neoliberal capitalist policies and critiquing the material conditions of inequality, impoverishment, and austerity that these shifts have produced; it is also aimed at advocacy for well-funded public education as a common good worth protecting.

 Description of Invited Articles:

For this issue, I invite analysis that foregrounds a critique of the contemporary expression of neoliberal capitalism. I seek submissions from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives (e.g., from within education, but also from public policy studies, progressive economics, sociology, philosophy, and more) to substantively engage with the material and philosophical challenges wrought by a neoliberal, capitalist totality, as it operates on education. A prevailing theme will be how this totality has produced harms for public education as a public good. Papers can be philosophical, theoretical, or conceptual; they can also be empirical, with methodologies such as Critical Policy Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis, and the like. Some of the questions that you may wish to engage include:

  • What are the material harms that have been produced in classrooms as a result of underfunding and austerity budgets?
  • What are the changing economic underpinnings of public education? How has public spending changed and privatization increased?
  • Neoliberalism presumes one set of goals and accountability measures for public education systems. What alternative goals and measures could be considered?
  • How has neoliberal capitalism impoverished conceptions of public education’s purpose?
  • What might an anti-capitalist education look like?

Timeline:

 Manuscripts due to Editor: January 31, 2024 Manuscripts under review: February 1 – March 15, 2024

Manuscripts returned to authors for revision: March 31, 2024 Final Manuscripts due to Co-editors: April 30, 2024 Publication of Special Issue: May 31, 2024

About the Editor:

 The special issue editor, Lana Parker, is an Associate Professor of Education at the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, Canada. She has expertise employing philosophical methods and critical discourse tools to analyze neoliberal trends in education. Her work interrogates these trends in contrast with the possibilities of ethical, responsible, and responsive pedagogy. She served as the Editor for the Journal of Teaching and Learning for three years. Her nationally funded research includes a phenomenological analysis of how capitalism and social media shape how youth engage with information, including mis- and disinformation, which is reflected in her recently published edited collection, Education in the Age of Misinformation: Philosophical and Pedagogical Explorations. In addition, Lana is a co-investigator on the Public Exchange Project, which exposes neoliberal trends of privatization in the Canadian context.

About Critical Education:

Critical Education is an international, refereed, open access journal published by the Institute for Critical Education Studies (ICES). Contributions critically examine contemporary education contexts, practices, and theories. Critical Education publishes theoretical and empirical research as well as articles that advance educational practices that challenge the existing state of affairs in society, schools, higher education, and informal education. ICES, Critical Education, and its companion publication Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, defend the freedom, without restriction or censorship, to disseminate and publish reports of research, teaching, and service, and to express critical opinions about institutions or systems and their management. Co-Directors of ICES, co-Hosts of ICES and Workplace blogs, and co-Editors of these journals resist all efforts to limit the exercise of academic freedom and intellectual freedom, recognizing the right of criticism by authors or contributors.

Author Guidelines: https://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/criticaled/about/submissions

 References

 Biesta, G., & Säfström, C. A. (2023). Introduction: The publicness of education. In G. Biesta &

C. A. Säfström (Eds.), The new publicness of education (pp. 1-7). Routledge. Marx, K. (1977). A contribution to the critique of political economy. Progress Publishers. (Original work published 1859)

Nelson, C., Broom, S., Sisaket, L., & Orphan, C. (2022). Imagining decolonial desires of the public good. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 35(5), 456–477.

Parker, L. (2021). Literacy in the post-truth era: The significance of affect and the ethical encounter. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 53(6), 613-623.

Parker, L. (2023a). Education in the age of misinformation: An afterword. In L. Parker (Ed.), Education in the age of misinformation: Philosophical and pedagogical explorations (pp. 251-256). Palgrave Macmillan.

Parker, L. (2023b). Making the most of it: Thinking about educational time with Hägglund and Levinas. Journal of Philosophy of Education. https://doi.org/10.1093/jopedu/qhad067

Peters, M. A. (2021). Neoliberalism as political discourse: The political arithmetic of homo oeconomicus. In M. Sardoč (Ed.), The impacts of neoliberal discourse and language in education (pp. 69-85). Routledge.