Brill has just published the Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education, edited by Alpesh Maisuria, who is a professor in Education Policy in Critical Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.
“This encyclopaedia showcases the explanatory power of Marxist educational theory and practice. The entries have been written by 51 leading authors from across the globe. The 39 entries cover an impressive range of contemporary issues and historical problematics. The editor has designed the book to appeal to readers within the Marxism and education intellectual tradition, and also those who are curious newcomers, as well as critics of Marxism.
The Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education is the first of its kind. It is a landmark text with relevance for years to come for the productive dialogue between Marxism and education for transformational thinking and practice.”
I co-authored, with Sandra Mathison, a chapter titled “Critical Education” for EME. In this chapter we define critical education broadly as a field or approach that works theoretically and practically toward social change that anticipates a post-capitalist world. We explore multiple foundational sources for critical education including Marxism and critical theory, but also democracy and anarchism. And finally, we provide an overview of several manifestations of critical education. While many conflate critical pedagogy with critical education, we contend critical education has a broader reach.
Please contact me if you would like a copy of our chapter on critical education, as I have a limited number of offprints I can share.
Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors
2 The 4th Industrial Revolution, Post-Capitalism, Waged Labour and Vocational Education
3 Alienation and Education
4 Alternatives to Capitalism
5 Capital Accumulation and Education
John Fraser Rice
6 Colonialisms and Class
7 Communism: The Party – Pedagogy and Revolution from Marx to China
Collin L. Chambers and Derek R. Ford
8 Corporate State: “Downhill All the Way” – Education in England from Welfare to Corporate State
9 Critical Education
Sandra Mathison and E. Wayne Ross
10 Critical Realism
11 Cuban-Marxist Education
Rosi Smith, Leticia de las Mercedes García Rosabal and Maikel J. Ortiz Bosch
12 Dialectical Materialism (Materialist Dialectics)
Constantine (Kostas) Skordoulis
13 Disaster Education
14 Early Childhood, Feminism, and Marx
Rachel Rosen and Jan Newberry
15 Employment: Education without Jobs – Young People, Qualifications, and Employment in 21st Century Britain
16 Ethnography of Education and Marxism: Education Research for Social Transformation
17 Freire, Paulo (1921–1997) as a Marxist Revolutionary for Education
18 Gramsci, Antonio (1891–1937): Culture and Education
19 Green Marxism
20 Guevara, Ernesto “Che” (1928–1967)
Peter McLaren and Lilia D. Monzó
21 Intersectionality: Scaling Intersectional Praxes
Gregory Martin and Benjamin “Benji” Chang
22 Lenin, Vladimir (1870–1924) and Education
Juha Suoranta and Robert FitzSimmons
23 Liberation Theology
24 Luxemburg, Rosa (1871–1919) and Education
Julia Damphouse and Sebastian Engelmann
25 Managerialism and Higher Education
26 Marxism and Education: [Closed] and … Open …
27 Marxism and Human Rights against Capitalism
Daniel Hedlund and Magnus Nilsson
28 Marxist Feminism and Education: Gender, Race, and Class
Sara Carpenter and Shahrzad Mojab
29 Middle Classes of the World
30 Neo-Liberalism and Revolution: Marxism for Emerging Critical Educators
31 New Left, Anarchism and Education
32 Palestine: Education in Mandate Palestine
33 Plebs League: Towards a Modern Plebs League
34 Postdigital Marxism
35 Poverty: Class, Poverty and Neo-Liberalism
36 Public Pedagogy
37 Public University: The Political Economy of the Public University
David Harvie, Mariya Ivancheva and Robert Ovetz
38 Social Class: Education, Social Class and Marxist Theory
Dave Hill and Alpesh Maisuria
39 State and Private Capital: Education, State and Capital
Ravi Kumar and Rama Paul
40 World-Systems Critical Education
Tom G. Griffiths
Call for Papers: The Labour of COVID section of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour
As instructors and students brace for a fall semester taught on-line, the effects of COVID on the labour of post-secondary learning continue to set in. Course outlines and assessment criteria are being reworked. Students wrestle with rising tuition and the prospects of prolonged periods of unemployment. As recent Canadian Association of University Teachers survey results suggest, the pandemic is making higher education even less tenable for current and prospective students. International students stuck in their home countries will be forced to participate in classes across time zones. Research programs are being put on hold. Making matters worse, the gutting of teaching and learning resources at some universities have forced administrators to piece together support for instructors and staff ill-equipped to make the transition on-line. Workloads have increased. But in the midst of this crisis, some post-secondary institutions seek opportunity to advance particular agendas. It was only after significant backlash from students and lecturers that the UK’s Durham University halted its attempt at providing online-only degrees in its effort to significantly cut in-person teaching. In Alberta, the government has merely delayed a performance-based funding model as a result of COVID, signaling that austerity, not improving the quality of education, is driving policy decisions. Meaningful interventions by faculty associations have been limited as the collegial governance process is sidelined for the sake of emergency pandemic measures. And what of academic and support staff who face increase workloads and the prospects of limited child care when the fall semester resumes? To this concern, what are the gendered effects of COVID? What do these circumstances mean for precariously employed sessional and term instructors? This special edition of Workplace invites all academic workers to make sense of COVID through a work and employment lens. Possible themes include:
- Faculty association responses to a shift towards on-line education
- “Mission creep” and the lure of distant learning for post-secondary institutions: opportunities and threats
- The gendered and racialized implications of COVID in the classroom and on campus
- Implications for sessionals, adjuncts and the precariously employed
- COVID and workplace accommodations: from child care to work refusals
- Student experiences and responses
- COVID and performance-based funding policies
- COVID and the collective bargaining process
- Internationalization and the COVID campus
Aim and Scope: Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor is a refereed, electronic, open access journal published by a collective of scholars in critical higher education promoting a new dignity in academic work. Contributions are aimed primarily at higher education workplace activism and dialogue on all issues of academic labour.
Invitations: Contributions from all ranks of academic workers – from tenured and tenure stream to graduate students, sessional instructors, contract faculty, and administrative support staff – are encouraged to submit.
Deadlines: Submissions will be considered for peer review and publications on a rolling basis. The final deadline is February 28, 2021. A complete volume of The Labour of COVID will be complete and made available in the spring of 2021. Formatting and submission guidelines can be found here
Please direct questions about the special issue to Dr. Andrew Stevens at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
By Sandra Mathison
Opinion: With a public system still reeling from more than 15 years of cuts by the previous government, there is no excuse for funnelling billions of dollars to private schools.
As the B.C. education ministry rethinks how to fully and adequately fund the province’s schools, at the top of their list should be privatizing private schools by discontinuing public subsidies to independent schools.
Since 2013, the province has subsidized private schools to the tune of $2.6 billion. The subsidies for 2018-19 alone were $426 million, and projections for this school year are $436 million.
These subsidies to private schools have increased at an astronomical rate: funding increases (adjusted for inflation) to private schools have increased by 122.8 per cent since 2000-01, compared to a 15.9-per-cent increase in funding to public schools during this same period.
According to recent surveys by the Institute for Public Education, CUPE B.C. and the B.C. Humanist Association, most British Columbians believe public funding of private schools needs to end. In a poll that Insights West conducted for us in May, four in five British Columbians (78 per cent) oppose providing taxpayer funds for elite private schools. Sixty-nine per cent of British Columbians oppose funding to faith-based schools.
Let private schools be private, and let them deserve the label “independent schools.”
Private schools cost taxpayers by direct taxpayer-supported subsidies, but also by exemptions from paying property taxes, numerous personal tax benefits for individuals, and collecting large sums of tax-deductible donations.
Private schools also cost B.C. in non-economic ways. Faith-based schools are allowed to ignore human-rights laws and discriminate against employees based on marital status or sexual orientation. Our poll shows that few British Columbians are aware that faith-based schools are exempted from the B.C. Human Rights Code, but once they were aware of this, 81 per cent of respondents did not believe they should be allowed this exemption.
Let private schools be private, and let them deserve the label “independent schools.”
Private school admission processes segregate students by class and/or beliefs, rejecting students who don’t “fit” their values. These schools are therefore isolating students from peers who are not like them. Many B.C. taxpayers’ children would not be admitted to these private schools — because they can’t afford them, do not have academic credentials, or they are not suitable given the school’s philosophy.
Private schools reject the idea that schools ought to be about equity, about providing an education for all students regardless of their individual attributes.
If the education ministry needs a plan, they could immediately end subsidies to elite “Group 2” schools, those spending more per student than public schools and charging significant tuition fees. These are schools such as St. George’s in Vancouver and Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island.
Then they could phase out subsidies to faith-based schools over a short period of time, say two to three years.
The ministry should review private schools that serve needs not currently well met by the public schools (possibly, Indigenous schools and programs for students with special needs) and work toward integrating those schools/programs into the public education system. They should ensure there is sufficient funding provided to public schools to meet those needs.
And at the same time, tax exemptions that diminish revenue that could support public education need to change.
With a public school system still reeling from more than 15 years of cuts by the previous government, and students with special needs bearing the brunt of the underfunding, there is no excuse for funnelling billions of dollars to private schools. That money should be allocated to the public school system where it can help every child achieve their fullest potential.
Sandra Mathison is the executive director of the Institute for Public Education B.C., a professor of education at the University of B.C., and co-director of the Institute for Critical Education.
Public funding for private schools may be the most obvious way public education in British Columbia is being privatized, but there are other less obvious privatizing strategies at work. The Many Faces of Privatization is a background paper I co-authored with Sandra Mathison and Larry Kuehn as part of Funding Public Education project of the Institute for Public Education / British Columbia.
The paper offers analysis of 1) the common neoliberal narrative that legitimizes and promotes privatization thus drawing the public into a manufactured consent of privatization and 2) specific contexts in which this privatization in manifest, such as personalized learning (especially with technology), choice programs, school fees and fund raising, business principles of school administration, corporate sponsorships, fee paying international students, and publicly funded private schools.
I was recently interviewed about the impact of neoliberal capitalism on schools, universities, and education in general by Mohsen Abdelmoumen, an Algerian-based journalist.
Over the course of the interview we discussed a wide-range of issues, including: the fundamental conflict between neoliberalism and participatory democracy; the Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) and the possibilities of transforming schools and universities into forces for progressive change and, in particular, academic freedom and free speech on campus, schools as illusion factories, curriculum as propaganda; what it means to be a dangerous citizen; and the role of intellectuals/teachers as activists.
The interview has been published in English and French, links below.
Cultural Logic is a journal of marxism, literature, and radical politics, which has been an open access journal since it was founded in 1997.
The new issue, Cultural Logic 21, features the following articles and poetry.
“1932, A Pseudo-Revolutionary Poem”
Cultural Logic 22 will be a massive 20th anniversary triple issue on “Schol-Activism” produced in collaboration with Works & Days. Look for it in the coming months.
The American Educational Studies Association is meeting in San Antonio this week and the key issue of its business meeting on Saturday was how the organization should respond to the ongoing union boycott of the site of its 2016 meeting in Seattle.
UNITE HERE / Hyatt Dispute and Settlement
Several years ago AESA entered into a contract with the Grand Hyatt in Seattle for its 2016 meeting. The Hyatt hotel chain has for some time been an organizing target of UNITE HERE, whose 265,000 members work primarily in the hospitality industry.
In July 2013, an agreement was reached between Hyatt and UNITE HERE that ended a years long stalemate between the union and Hyatt as well as ending a national boycott of Hyatt-managed properties.
Doug Patrick, senior VP of human resources for Hyatt said of the agreement:
The national agreement between Hyatt and UNITE HERE is great news for our associates in markets where they haven’t seen wage increases in four years … The associates will see the increases in wage and benefit enhancements they deserve.
UNITE HERE described the key provision of the agreement as establishing “a fair process,” which includes a mechanism for employees at a number of Hyatt hotels to vote on whether they wish to be represented by UNITE HERE.
David Sherwyn, associate professor of law and academic director for The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration has described the deal as good for both sides. He told Hotel News Now (HNN),
What it also shows is the belief of the inadequacy of the NLRB election. UNITE HERE was adamant that they didn’t want to go to an NLRB election where you can do all kinds of mean and nasty stuff.
HNN reported that that Hyatt didn’t want to authorize card-check voting. According to Sherwyn, Hyatt wanted employees to go into booths to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for elections. Card check involves a lot of peer pressure because voting is done in public, which Hyatt was against.
“(UNITE HERE is) giving them an election, and I’m sure that they set some sort of ground rules about what they can and cannot be said and how the election is going to be done and so on,” Sherwyn told HNN. “What I’m inferring is that Hyatt feels good because at the end of the day their employees are getting a vote.”
The rub for AESA’s 2016 meeting in Seattle is that the national agreement applies only to Hyatt-managed hotels and the the owner of the Grand Hyatt Seattle, Richard Hedreen, has refused to allow employees access to that fair process (e.g., card check).
UNITE HERE Local 8 says the Boycott of Grand Hyatt Seattle is based on the following issues:
- Heavy workloads. Hotel housekeeping work is difficult work that can lead to debilitating pain and injuries. Hyatt at Olive 8 Houseman Yuan Ping Tang reports that he turns over up to 38 rooms a shift.
- A slippery slope of subcontracting. In the past year, the Hyatt at Olive 8 has used more temporary, subcontracted workers, a precedent that can threaten full-time jobs.
- Workers want their say. Workers at the Grand Hyatt Seattle and the Hyatt at Olive 8 have called on the hotels’ owner, Richard Hedreen, to give them a fair process to decide for themselves whether they want a union. This is a process that Hyatt agrees will be implemented if and when Mr. Hedreen gives the OK. So far Mr. Hedreen has refused.
Discussion at AESA 2015 Business Meeting
At the AESA 2015 business meeting this afternoon in, ironically, San Antonio’s Grand Hyatt, I made the motion that “AESA honor the UNITE HERE Local 8 boycott and not hold its 2016 meeting at the Grand Hyatt Seattle.”
There was a long and vigorous discussion of the issue, with many members stating their support of the motion and others offering supportive sentiments for the Grand Hyatt Seattle workers, but arguing against the boycott because of the financial implications for AESA (which, because of contract provisions, would be on the hook for over $80,000 if they canceled).
After a long debate, the members in attendance voted to refer the boycott motion back to the Executive Council of AESA, thus stopping the discussion among the general membership and by-passing an up-or-down vote on the motion.
Previously, AESA members had participated in a straw poll on honoring the UNITE HERE Local 8 boycott, with the anti-boycott position winning by a slim margin, although fewer than 100 members participated in the poll.
Read more about the boycotts of Grand Hyatt Seattle here:
Attorneys honor Hyatt boycott rather than attend Bar awards | October 4, 2013
Hotel Workers Say: Boycott Hyatt! | August 30, 2013
Seattle Gay News
Update! Hyatt Hotel Owners Respond to Boycott | August 30, 2013
Union activists call for boycott of 2 Seattle Hyatt hotels | August 28, 2013
The Seattle Times
Hyatt workers urge boycott of Seattle hotels | August 28, 2013
Workers Call for Boycott on Two Seattle Hyatts | August 27, 2013
Rich Gibson, guest blogger, presents some starter questions that few teachers are willing to ask in serious ways.
What is it to be free, fulfilled, and confident that you will be able to meet your human potential?
Are we free? Are we free at work, at school, at play? If we are not free: What would we need to know, and how would we need to know it, in order to be free?
Are there people among us who appear to be much more free than others? If so, what is it that makes them different? What do they have in common, worldwide?
Who is less free? What elements do they have in common?
Is freedom achieved through isolation, or friendly connections with other people?
If we are not free, in part because we are isolated from each other, often in ways that we do not see (the normalcy of segregated schooling), then what might we do to be more free?
These questions rise from the Critique of Tyranny. This critique has been applied to every society, ever since the first food surpluses made inequality possible, and it became possible to make an argument that separation from others might be a good thing–in contrast to early societies where those who behaved the most collectively survived longest and best. The critique was the interrogation of domination that, in ideas, forged the US revolution. It is absent from most social studies textbooks.
The Critique of Tyranny leads to a question that can be asked of any society–to judge it: How does this society treat the majority of its citizens, invariably the workers, or slaves, troops, i.e., the common citizens, over time?
This reasonable question sweeps aside the notion that poisons conservative forms of postmodernism, which insist that there really is no rational way to judge any society, that one society or social movement or idea might be as good as the next, that all is mere viewpoint and, at the end of the day, maybe Mussolini was not such a bad guy after all.
Are teachers willing to ask these questions to students in their classrooms, not of abstract distant societies, but of their condition inside school? My experience is that most teachers are not willing to seriously pose the issue, in fear of lack of control.
Psychiatrist Robert Kaye says students in the world’s classrooms are not free, using a metaphor that suggests that compulsory attendance laws make them “incarcerated.” This would be a good place to start. Are we here because we want to be here?
Indeed, many teachers will insist that they live in a free society. But they will also agree that they cannot probe the question of freedom in school, or really speak their minds. The Bill of Rights, for example, stops at the door of most work places.
Most teachers are not free to interrogate the key issues of life:
- Work–because it is illegal in most states to teach positive things about Karl Marx, about “all of history is the history of class struggle,” and it’s therefore impossible to say much about any labor movement.
- Love–sexuality, because in most states it’s illegal to teach that sex is fun; rather it is taught as a matter of fear: STDs, unwanted pregnancy, exploitation.
- Rational knowledge or reason as the Enlightenment can only be taught as an abstraction, one religion being as good as the next instead of “people make gods; gods don’t make people, there isn’t any magic and fairies are not dancing on the earth.
- The relentless struggle for freedom and fulfillment–freedom non-existent in schools.
In examining a contradictory relationship, a unity and struggle of opposites in which unity is temporary and struggle perpetual, it is quite possible to not only probe historical reality, but the crux of how and why things change–as they do.
Here are some questions that students can work out themselves to, perhaps, better understand the foundation of most societies throughout history: The Master-Slave Metaphor.
In a “Let’s pretend” Master-Slave Relationship:
What does the Master want?
What does the Slave want?
What must the Master do?
What must the Slaves do?
How do Masters Rule?
How do Slaves resist?
What does the Master want the Slaves to know?
What does the Slaves want the Master to know?
What does the master want the slaves to believe?
What does the slave want the master to believe?
Is truth the same for the Master as it is for the Slaves?
Who has the greater interest in the more profound truths?
What mediates the relationship of the Master and the Slaves-both in theory and practice?
What elements within this relationship, as it exists, provide clues to how the relationship might be changed?
How will the slaves get from what is, to what they think ought to be, without relying on magic?
What will the Masters do in response to the struggles of the slaves?
What would be the masters’ greatest victory–or the slaves’ worst defeat?
Is it possible to end the relationship of Masters and Slaves, or are people trapped within this forever?
What would be the Masters greatest victory?
If people are not trapped in the Master-Slave relationship permanently, and if they should actually overcome it, what will preserve their common freedom?
Having conducted this exercise more than fifty times with college students, high school students, and veterans groups; the most difficult answer for most groups, the one they never get, is: What is the Masters greatest victory?
If you’ll do the exercise, send me what your group responds. I will be happy to send you expanded answers–if there are any.
On Tyranny, by Leo Strauss (the classic in the field)
Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, Marx (and all of the rest of Marx’s work)
Alienation by Bertell Ollman (why we are estranged from one another and how we might reason our way out).
Rich Gibson is an emeritus professor at San Diego State University. He is a co-founder of the radical schools group, the Rouge Forum, which involves teachers, professors, students and community people in the English and Spanish speaking world. Prof@Richgibson.com