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Athens - The Academy

SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CRITICAL EDUCATION

 The Department of Education, University of Athens, Greece is hosting the

2nd INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CRITICAL EDUCATION
10-14 July 2012, Athens, Greece

Organized by the journals:
JOURNAL OF CRITICAL EDUCATION POLICY STUDIES (UK)
CULTURAL LOGIC (USA/CANADA)
KRITIKI (GREECE)
RADICAL NOTES (INDIA)

ICCE Conference Website: http://icce-2012.weebly.com/index.html

Some of last year’s papers (from the 2011 conference) will go into a special edition of JCEPS, the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, coming out in around April 2012. In addition, all the papers that were presented at the 2011 conference and were submitted in written form will be published as conference proceedings in the next couple of months.

The website is in process of improvement, e.g. regarding methods of payment. Also the final keynote speakers are not yet confirmed. We are asking Dennis Beach, me (Dave Hill), Marnie Holborow, and Alex Callinicos, as well as leading Greek Marxists/ critical educators.

So, hope to see you at this conference inAthens in July! Last year’s was great – politically, intellectually, and socially!

Professor Dave Hill

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM COMMITTEE (subject to confirmation)

Kostas Skordoulis (University of Athens, Greece)

Dave Hill (Universities of Middlesex, United Kingdom; Limerick, Ireland; Athens, Greece)

Peter McLaren (University of Auckland, New Zealand)

Grant Banfield (University of South Australia, Australia)
 
Dennis Beach (University of Göteburg, Sweden)
 
Ramin Farahmandpur (Portland State University, Oregon, USA)
 
Marnie Holborrow (University College Dublin, Ireland)
 
Alpesh Maisuria (Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom)
 
Sharzad Mojab (University of Toronto, Canada)

Ravi Kumar (South Asian University, New Delhi, India)
 
Deborah Kelsh (College of St. Rose, Albany, NY, USA)
 
Curry Malott (West Chester University, Pennsylvania, USA)
 
Gregory Martin (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)
 
Micheal O’Flynn (University of Limerick, Ireland)
 
Perikles Pavlidis  (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
 
Brad Porfilio (Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois, USA)
 
Martin Power (University of Limerick, Ireland)
 
Helena Sheehan (University College Dublin, Ireland)
 
Juha Suoranta (University of Tampere, Finland)
 
Spyros Themelis (Middlesex University, United Kingdom)
 
Salim Vally  (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory

MARX AND EDUCATION: MISLEADING TITLE AND CONFUSING NARRATIVE

April 13th 2011

By m310See all my reviews (on Amazon.com)

Review at Amazon.com: Marx and Education (Routledge Key Ideas in Education) (Paperback)

This had the potential to be a book that shed important light on the Marxist educational tradition; however, I was confused by the narrative. The title misled me into believing that I was in for a discussion of Marxist educators. Originally, I was interested in the book because I hoped it would augment the writings of U.S. Marxists, such as Ramin Farahmandpur, Rich Gibson, E. Wayne Ross, and a few others. Yet the book is dedicated to neo-Marxists, and while she gives attention to McLaren as a progressive educator (mid-1980s), she provides scant attention to his Marxist writings. Those who have read any of McLaren’s writings since 1995 know that he is a Marxist-Humanist; he is clearly not a neo-Marxist. Anyone following Marxism in education in the USwould be hard pressed to find a more prominent and influential exponent than McLaren.

Furthermore, the significant contributions made upon U.S. Marxists by British Marxists such as Glenn Rikowski, Paula Allman, Dave Hill, and Mike Cole, are not highlighted. Why were there no significant discussions of Valerie Scatamburlo D’Annibale and Deb Kelsh? The narrative in this book is not so much about Marxist educators but rather progressive and neo-Marxist educators. Where were discussions of contributions of John Holst and Himani Bannerji? The book, Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory – a milestone in the debates over Marxism and education – was not even mentioned. This truly was a narrow reading of a very small field and as a result has shortchanged its readers. Mike Cole’s work in England is far superior.

Anyon has done good work on urban education, but needs to be more aware of what is happening in the Marxist arena as far as education is concerned. I like her basic summary of Marxist analysis but wanted to find out more about U.S.-based Marxist educators, especially since there are so few of them.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Sara Motta

Mike Cole

EDUCATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN LATIN AMERICA

A two day workshop organised in collaboration between:

MERD (Marxism and Education: Renewing Dialogues)
CSSGJ (Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, University of Nottingham)
CESJ (Centre for Education for Social Justice, Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln)

To be held at the
University of Nottingham
1st – 2nd July 2011

The role of education is increasingly important in the construction of new forms of anti-capitalist politics in Latin America. This is evidenced by the centrality of popular education and other forms of struggle influenced by radical education philosophy and pedagogy, and by social movements in their construction of new forms of participatory politics and mass intellectuality. It is also evidenced in the creation of formal and informal educational programmes, practices and projects that develop varieties of critical pedagogy and popular education with both organised and non-organised marginalised and excluded communities.

Particularly, noticeable in this regard is the centrality of education in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the move towards 21st Century socialism. At the heart of the politicisation of education are the questions of whose knowledge counts in the process of social transformation and political change and if the ways in which such transformative knowledge is created impact upon the struggle to develop worlds beyond capitalism in the 21st century.

This workshop invites papers which develop theoretically grounded empirical analysis about the politicisation of education in the continent.

Key questions to be addressed are:

How is education politicised in contemporary anti-capitalist struggles?

How has neoliberalism closed down as well as opened up terrains of educational struggle?

What differences are there between the role of education in 20th century socialism and 21st century socialism?

How does Marxism shape such practices of radical pedagogy and how do such practices transform Marxism?

How does the focus on popular education in new forms of popular politics influence and reflect the type of politics developed?

What is the role of autonomous education in social movements in the construction of anti-capitalism?

What is the relationship between formal ‘progressive’ educational programmes and the politics of knowledge and education in informal community/social movement settings?

What can we (outside of the region) learn from Chavez’s concept of Venezuela as a ‘giant school’ and other radical pedagogies and educational practices in Latin America?

What is the role of popular educators within formal schooling in these processes?

Selected papers will be published in an edited collection with Palgrave Macmillan in their Marxism and Education Series.

Contact Sara Motta at sara.motta@nottingham.ac.uk and Mike Cole at mike.cole@bishopg.ac.uk  if you are interested in helping organise the workshop or would like any further information.

Please submit your paper proposal by March 1st 2011

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Critical Education Against Global Capitalism

CRITICAL EDUCATION AGAINST GLOBAL CAPITALISM – BY PAULA ALLMAN 

 Dear colleagues

 I’d like to draw your attention to the new paperback edition of Paula Allman’s ‘Critical Education Against Global Capitalism’ which is to be published by Sense Publishers any day now, price around £30.

This is a powerful text relating not only to adult education, about which it has much of importance to say, but also to the general context in which we live and work.

In particular, the new edition has an Afterword by the author in which she offers a detailed and up-to-date Marxist analysis of the current economic crisis and its causes, which is invaluable for helping us to link what is going on in our day-to-work with major global economic developments.  It is also an invaluable text for responding to the growing interest in Marxism among students and activists alike as it becomes ever clearer that capitalism, far from triumphing, is in catastrophic crisis.

Best wishes

Helen Colley

Critical Education Against Global Capitalism: https://www.sensepublishers.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=51&products_id=1122&osCsid=3202bf1d0434f6e0a9d0fb2fcd2ee3d0

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Critical-Education-Against-Global-Capitalism/dp/946091263X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289034653&sr=1-1

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Critical-Education-Against-Global-Capitalism/dp/946091263X/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_p?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289037381&sr=1-1

Helen Colley, Professor of Lifelong Learning, Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, 799 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester M20 2RR, UK, Tel: +44 (0)161-247 2306, Research Centre Reception: +44 (0)161-247 2320

In support of Paula Allman’s book, Stephen Brookfield and John Holst have just published Radicalizing Learning: Adult Education for a Just World

The books links adult education to the creation of democratic socialism: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Radicalizing-Learning-Adult-Education-World/dp/0787998257

Testimonial
Paula Allman’s book is beyond doubt one of the most important and possibly THE most important of all contemporary texts in education. It will be a classic. I can’t think of an educational text that can match it in importance. Amazing! Peter McLaren, Professor, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA, author of Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and The Pedagogy of Revolution

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Education, Indoctrination and Witch Hunting

 

 

It seems that Critical Pedagogy and radical educators are causing quite a stir in Australia, according to ABC News. There are the usual stories about ‘indoctrination’ of students by left-wing professors, the ‘evils’ of Critical Pedagogy and nonsense about the ‘neutrality’ of the classroom, of course. All this is to be expected – and we have seen this before (e.g. the Gould Report in the UK in the early 1980s, the ‘Dirty Thirty’ campaign in the US, Thatcher’s determination to end Marxist influence over teacher training at the University of Brighton and periodic digs at Marxist professors from the media in many countries over the last 40 years).

 

 

In these times of capitalist crises, the stakes are a bit higher than usual. What is also noteworthy is the extent and intensity of the debate that the ABC News item has generated. The right are not getting it all their own way, and spirited defences of Critical Pedagogy, radical educators and radical education can be found in the debate ensuing in the ‘Comments’.

 

 

See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/17/2393795.htm

 

 

Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Ayers Rocked In His Own Universe

 

 

Glenn Rikowski, London, 15th June 2007

 

 

 

Preface: In light of the fact that the relationship between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers surfaced in the final TV confrontation between John McCain and Obama yesterday, I thought that readers might be interested in this post. It first appeared on my AOL Volumizer blog on 15th June 2007. However, AOL is going to pull the plug on all of its blogs on 31st October so I am preserving this post here on All that is Solid. From what I say below, it seems as if the ‘wild man’ Ayers has changed quite radically into an idealist liberal. McCain’s attempt to pass him off as a dangerous revolutionary figure is pathetic.

 

Glenn Rikowski, London, 17th October 2008

 

 

 

Introduction

 

A review of Peter McLaren’s Capitalists and Conquerors: A Critical Pedagogy Against Empire (2005) by William Ayers (2006) in Teachers College Record has sparked off a wide-ranging debate concerning the role of education in struggles for progressive social transformation. Following this by Ayers, McLaren responded (McLaren, 2007a), drawing a counter-response from Ayers (Ayers, 2007) which was then followed by a further reply from McLaren (2007b). So: what has this to do with me? Well, I was one of the contributors to McLaren’s Capitalists and Conquerors (Allman, McLaren and Rikowski, 2005) who was ignored in Ayers’s original review (along with Paula Allman, Donna Houston, Gregory Martin, Nathalia Jaramillo, and Valerie Scatamburlo-D’Anibale) [1]. Thus, I feel more than entitled to respond to Ayers’s original review and his reply to Peter McLaren.

 

 

 

Bad Reviews

 

The first point that should be noted is that Ayers’s ‘review’ was no such thing. He did not inform the reader regarding the overall contents, topics and themes of the book. Ayers is a poor book reviewer on this performance.

 

Secondly, a book reviewer needs to ensure that they don’t wilfully mislead readers. Examining examples of McLaren’s language that he objects to, Ayers argues that in the examples he gives readers find McLaren “citing mostly himself”. Perhaps there are a few passages where McLaren cites mainly himself; this would be the case for many authors, as the readers might be interested in the development of their work. But someone reading this might conclude that McLaren is a self-obsessed peacock who mostly only quotes himself throughout. If the book in question (McLaren, 2005) is examined it is clear that this is not so. In only a single chapter (the first) does McLaren have more than ten references to himself in the end-text references. He has 15, in fact; including those where he figures in edited collections. This should be set against the fact that in this chapter there are 133 references in total. McLaren’s references take up only 11% of the references in that chapter. I leave it to Ayers to calculate the percentage of chapter 1 taken up by the actual text that those 15 references cover!

 

Thirdly, Ayers complains of McLaren’s “domineering” language. This feeble response to the language of the “Poet Laureate of the Educational Left”, as McLaren’s writing style has been described by Joe Kinchloe (in McLaren, 2000), belies his past as a left dissident of national significance [2].    

 

Without going into more micro-detail, it is clear that Ayers pursues McLaren throughout his ‘review’ as basically someone who should really write and research just like he. Ayers looks for the ethnographer in Peter McLaren; the radical ethnographer who wrote Life in Schools. However, people sometimes develop, move on and do different things. Ayers presumes that McLaren should remain cast in theoretical and research stone that he approves of, and can readily relate to.

 

 

 

Rocked in his Own Universe  

 

As a review, Ayers’s effort is hardly worth bothering with. However, whilst reading it I was amazed to discover certain perspectives of his (Ayers) that fit snugly with the rampant individualism and Utopianism of neoliberal educational thought. Furthermore, it seems Ayers was not conversant with some of the basics of Marxism. He appears to be a fully paid up member of the conventional, academic liberal left in some respects.

 

First of all, Ayers argues that: “Capitalist schooling submerges human development in its single-minded drive for profit” and “profit is at the center of economic, political, and social life”. But it is value, and specifically surplus-value (of which profit is an element) that is the substance of capital’s social universe (see Rikowski, 2005). Ayers seems oblivious to the significance of value, and to the value/profit distinction.

 

However, it is his “classrooms and schools for democracy” I am most concerned about from the perspective of human progress and development. Ayers argues that:

 

“Classrooms and schools for democracy and freedom recognize each student as an entire universe, each capable of becoming an author, and activist in his or her own life – teachers in these classrooms assume that every student is an unruly spark of meaning-making energy on a voyage of discovery and surprise” (My emphasis).

 

Ayers advocates that students are, and should be treated like, Leibniz’s monads; unique and self-sufficient, inhabiting a universe of their very own. Yet his students inhabit a particular social universe; the social universe of capital. In order to appreciate this point, Ayers would have had to delve beneath the phenomenon of profit into the very heart of this social universe: the creation of value and surplus-value in the capitalist labour process. The fact that we all inhabit capital’s social universe gives us common bonds, and a common form of life, which limits us regarding what we can become – individually, and collectively as humanity.

 

Ayers’s nurturing of students as inhabitants of their own universes, creates individualistic illusions amongst them insofar as it actually works. This individualism gels with methodological individualism, rational choice theory and the self-serving model of the person served up by mainstream economics. This primeval individualism can also be related to solipsism and nihilism without too much effort.

 

Yet a little further on Ayers talks about teachers having solidarity with students! Who would want solidarity with the ego-centric, hyper-individualistic students that Ayers conjures up? And how would this be possible? Could teachers have any kind of solidarity with persons who inhabit a universe of their very own? Ironically, teachers are charged with helping to generate those universes for their hapless students!

 

Ayers seems utterly confused regarding his pedagogical aims and social ontology. He can’t be expected to understand McLaren’s work if this is his stance on social life and the relations between individuals and capitalist society. He argues that McLaren should “start to think and write more clearly and with much more urgency.” However, the confusion within Ayers’s thinking and his bizarre pedagogical commitments puts the onus on him to rethink and refocus. At least McLaren speaks to those living within the same universe!      

 

 

 

Notes:

[1] In his reply to McLaren’s response (Ayers, 2007), he admitted that: “I did indeed fail to mention the co-authors who worked on various chapters with McLaren. My mistake. On the other hand, the cover of the book, the title page, the listing in the library made the same omission, so perhaps that criticism should more productively be taken up with the publisher”. Yet a competent reviewer should surely have noted these omissions in their review – which leads me to believe that Ayers was not really interested in writing an actual review of the book: he was more concerned with painting a skewed picture of Peter McLaren as a writer, educational theorist and researcher and education activist. Personally, I always knew my name was not to be on the front of the book, and I had seen the cover in advance. I was happy with that, as Peter McLaren did the lion’s share of the work and writing. In blaming the publishers, Ayers deflects attention from the nature of his ‘review’.     

[2] See his ‘Biography/History’ on his blog for more on this, at: http://billayers.blogspot

 

 

 

References

Allman, P., McLaren, P. & Rikowski, G. (2005) After the Box People: The Labor-Capital Relation as Class Constitution and its Consequences for Marxist Educational Theory and Human Resistance, in: P. McLaren, Capitalists and Conquerors: A Critical Pedagogy Against Empire, Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.

Ayers, W. (2006) Essay Review: Notes From A Self-Realizing, Sensuous, Species-Being (I Think). A review of ‘Capitalists and Conquerors: A Critical Pedagogy Against Empire’ by William Ayers, Teachers College Record, December 12, online a: http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=12888

Ayers, W. (2007) Continuing the Conversation: Ayers Replies, Teachers College Record, February 6th, online at: http://www.tcrecord.org/discussion.asp?i=3&aid=2&rid=12888&dtid=0&vdpid=2695 

McLaren, P. (2000) Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution, Lanham Md: Rowman & Littlefield.

McLaren, P. (2005) Capitalists and Conquerors: A Critical Pedagogy Against Empire, Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.

McLaren, P. (2007a) Peter McLaren Responds to Bill Ayers: Bad Faith Solidarity, Teachers College Record, January 22nd, online at: http://tcrecord.org/Discussion.asp?i=3&vdpid=2695&aid=2&rid=12888&dtid=0

McLaren, P. (2007b) Performing Bill Ayers: Criticism as a Disappearing Act or Hey, Brother, Can You Spare Me a Book Review? A Response by Peter McLaren. Personal correspondence sent by email, February 7th.

Rikowski, G. (2005) Distillation: Education in Karl Marx’s Social Universe, Lunchtime Seminar, School of Education, University of East London, 14th February: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Distillation

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk