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David R. Cole (ed.)

Surviving Economic Crises through Education

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2012. 288 pp.

Global Studies in Education. Vol. 11

General Editors: Michael Peters, Cameron McCarthy, Athlone C. (Tina) Besley and Fazal Rizvi

Print: ISBN 978-1-4331-1478-6 pb.

SFR 35.00 / €* 26.20 / €** 27.00 / € 24.50 / £ 22.00 / US$ 36.95

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This book comes at a time of increasing anxiety about the repercussions of financial instability and the probability of widespread market volatility. The educators and researchers whose work is collected here have considered these factors deeply when constructing their responses to prevailing financial conditions. These views guide the reader through economic crises as a mode of survival and as a means to deploying education at its most meaningful and intense. The approach aligns practice with theory and takes the empirical evidence from these studies as a means to determining the economic influence on education. This book will be a valuable asset for teachers and professors, as well as an excellent textbook for undergraduate and graduate classrooms.


Stephen J. Ball: Foreword. Crisis and Attentiveness – David R. Cole: Introduction to Surviving Economic Crises through Education – Michael A. Peters: ‘Knowledge Economy’, Economic Crisis and Cognitive Capitalism: Public Education and the Promise of Open Science – Jim Crowther/Mae Shaw: Education for Resilience and Resistance in the ‘Big Society’ – Mike Cole: Capitalist Crisis and Fascism: Issues for Educational Practice – Gustavo E. Fischman/Victor H. Diaz: Teach for WhatAmerica? Beginning Teachers’ Reflections about Their Professional Choices and the Economic Crisis – Patrick Carmichael/Kate Litherland: Transversality and Innovation: Prospects for Technology-Enhanced Learning in Times of Crisis – Silvina Gvirtz/Ana Laura Barudi: When the Sun Does not Shine after the Rain: The Effects of the 2001 Crisis on the Education System of Argentina – Ana Inés Heras: Struggle for Agency in Contemporary Argentinean Schools – Silvia Grinberg/Eduardo Langer: Education and Governmentality in Degraded Urban Territories: From the Sedimented to the Experience of the Actual – David R. Cole: Doing Work as a Reflection of the Other: Notes on the Educational Materialism of Deleuze and Guattari – Robert Haworth/Abraham P. DeLeon: The Crisis of Mutative Capitalism: Holey Spaces, Creative Struggle and Educative Innovations – Torill Strand: The Current Dynamics of Professional Expertise: The Movable Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of Four Norwegian Professions – R. Scott Webster: Educating the Person for Democratic Participation – Jason J. Wallin: Remachining Educational Desire: Bankrupting Freire’s Banking Model of Education in an Age of Schizo-Capitalism – Marcus Bussey: Afterword. When No Crisis Is the Real Crisis! The Endless Vertigo of Capitalist Education.

The Author:

David R. Cole received his PhD in education from the University ofWarwick. He is an Associate Professor in English and pedagogy at the University of Western Sydney. David has edited three books (two with Darren Pullen) and has published a novel. His latest monograph is Educational Life-Forms: Deleuzian Teaching and Learning Practice.


“At last, we have a book that not only attempts to chart the crucial relationship between education and the crisis of economics, but one that explores critically and insightfully what that crisis may tell us about how to proceed in both opening up new understandings of pedagogy, education, politics, and charting a notion of hope that is as militant as it is realistic. We live at a crucial time, when the ethos of surviving has replaced the possibility of imagining a decent life and the promises of a real democracy. The discourse of surviving for the authors in this book does not suggest a retreat into cynicism or a life stripped of possibility. On the contrary, it suggests a new beginning, a new sense of struggle, and a new sense of hope. ‘Surviving Economic Crises through Education’ puts education back into politics, and in doing so puts politics back on a footing that makes individual and collective struggle possible again.” (Henry Giroux, Global Television Network Chair, English and Cultural Studies,McMasterUniversity)

“The recent huge hiccup of capitalism (‘global financial crisis’) and its continuing gurgles of pain have profound implications for education, teacher training, and the role of knowledge for human betterment (given that claims to knowledge and expertise were no protection from the cataclysm itself). This collection shows us why this is so, framing an imperative for rethinking education as a process of self-knowing and empowerment in a period of enormous economic and ontological insecurity. David R. Cole has brought together a significant set of theorists whose empirical evidence flows through to insights and indications of what is to be done. One hopes, as some of the authors propose, it is the very depth of the crisis that may force the shedding of the most deeply entrenched (mis)beliefs about education, enabling thereby a new if wobbly space for innovation and growth.” (Andrew Jakubowicz, Professor of Sociology, Director of the Institute of Cultural Diversity, University of Technology,Sydney)

“In times of economic crisis politicians often present their policies by claiming that ‘there is no alternative.’ This book unmasks such claims by providing critical readings of the politics of contemporary crisis talk and by presenting a range of generative educational responses that provide real alternatives for educational thought and action. This is a timely and inspiring collection that affirms the crucial role of education in the struggle for democracy in uncertain times.” (Gert Biesta, Professor of Education and Director of Research, School of Education & Laboratory for Educational Theory,Universityof Stirling)

“This book represents a kaleidoscope of views on the roles of education in a world rapidly changing since the 2008 financial crisis and the collapse of the Western world economies. Ideas mushroom from each chapter challenging the role of education in a capitalist society. A mustread for those from various disciplines who care about education.” (Arnaud Chevalier, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Royal Holloway,UniversityofLondon)



‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

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Popular Education



The Fifth International Conference of the Popular Education Network (PEN) will take place at the University of Edinburgh, from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 April 2010, hosted by the Department of Higher and Community Education.  This conference builds on the success of previous PEN conferences held in Edinburgh (2000), Barcelona (2002), Braga (2004) and Maynooth (2007).

The Popular Education Network now has about 160 members in 60 institutions in 25 countries.  Membership of the network is free, and participation in PEN conferences is open to all who subscribe to the broad values and purposes of the network (see below).

The language of the conference will be English, but there will opportunities for informal translation as appropriate.  Non-English speakers are welcome to attend and participate fully.


The conference is not organised around any particular theme – although certain key concerns may well emerge.  For example:

  • The effects of globalisation on our work;
  • Sustaining political commitment and ideological coherence in hard times;
  • Developing alliances and strategic collaborations;
  • Radicalising research and making it ‘really useful’;
  • Contesting managerialism and the culture of the accountant;
  • Respecting diversity without abandoning solidarity;
  • Exploiting relative autonomy;
  • Working with progressive social movements;
  • Developing curriculum and pedagogy;
  • Using ICT in subversive and counter-hegemonic ways;
  • Engaging dialectically with the politics of policy;
  • Developing more democratic, creative and expressive ways of working.

The conference will be seminar/workshop-based, with the emphasis on discussion, dialogue and debate rather than simply the formal presentation of academic/research papers.  In this spirit of collegiality we invite participants to present academic papers, curriculum materials, or accounts of unfinished research in progress. Please respond by completing the return slip at the end of this message and emailing it back to us by 26th February 2010.  We would also welcome ideas or suggestions about anything in particular you would like to see in the conference programme – or you would wish to offer.

The conference is an opportunity for university-based teachers and researchers, and others involved in higher education, who share a common interest in popular education – many of whom work in considerable isolation in their own institutions – to meet, exchange ideas, learn from each other and enjoy some much needed solidarity and conviviality. 

We hope that PEN members far and wide will be interested in participating in this conference.  Please also feel free to pass on information about it to anyone else who might be interested in attending.  For further information about the network and previous conferences, see the attached paper [not included here: GR].  The conference is open to all who work in higher education and who are willing to subscribe in general terms to the Popular Education Network statement of intent:

Popular education is:

•       Rooted in the real interests and struggles of ordinary people

•       Overtly political and critical of the status quo

•       Committed to progressive social and political change in the interests of a fairer and more egalitarian society.

Popular education has the following characteristics:

•       Its curriculum comes out of the concrete experience and material interests of people in communities of resistance and struggle

•       Its pedagogy is collective, focused primarily on group as distinct from individual learning and development

•       It attempts to forge a direct connection between education and social change.

If you are interested in a fuller account of this particular view of popular education and its relation to higher education, see Crowther J, Galloway V and Martin I (eds) (2005) Popular Education: Engaging the Academy – International Perspectives Leicester, UK: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (ISBN 1 86201 209 1), which contains several chapters based on presentations at previous PEN conferences.


As in the past, the conference will be organised on a strictly non-commercial basis.  No one will make any money out of it!  Local costs will therefore be kept to an absolute minimum.  The conference fee is £50.  This covers room costs, paper work and food/refreshments while the conference is in session.  Details about booking accommodation will be sent to those who express interest in participating.  Participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements.

We look forward to hearing from you – and to seeing you in Edinburgh this April!


This is to confirm that I would like to attend the Fourth International Conference of the Popular Education Network at the University of Edinburgh from 23 to 25 April 2010.





Email address:

If you would like to lead a seminar discussion, run a workshop or take responsibility for a session for any other purpose, please give brief details:

If you have any ideas/suggestions about what you would like to see in the conference programme, please make them here:

If you can speak a language in addition to English and could help with informal translation, please indicate language(s):

Special requirements (e.g., diet, mobility, access etc)


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Critical Pedagogy

Critical Pedagogy



The Critical Pedagogy Podcasting Project was launched at a day seminar on 3rd July 2009 at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. The event was called ‘Podcasting Critical Pedagogy and Popular Education’.

See: for details on the development and history of this project. It is recommended that you check this out first, to see the organisational roots of the podcasts referred to below.

Gurnam Singh and colleagues at Coventry University developed a series of podcasts for the day seminar on 3rd July. These are:

‘Critical Pedagogy, Critical Theory and Critical Hope – Interview with Sarah Amsler’

‘Popular Education and Higher Education – Interview with Jim Crowther’

‘Indigenous Pedagogy – Interview with Michael Williams’

‘Critical Reflection and Critical Pedagogy – Interview with Philip Chambers’

‘Autonomist Marxism, Social Movements and Popular Education – Steve Wright’

‘The Neoliberal University, Critical Pedagogy and Popular Education – Part 1: Joyce Canaan’

‘The Neoliberal University, Critical Pedagogy and Popular Education – Part 2: Joyce Canaan’

‘The Workers Education Association and Popular or Informal Learning – Mogs Russell’

Gurnam Singh (Coventry University) is the Interviewer  

The podcasts are now available at:

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