Revolution and Pedagogy: Interdisciplinary and Transnational Perspectives on Educational Foundations

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What was required in order to make the given social order truly viable was the transformation of the whole fabric of society pp. He has stated strongly that the United States is a real danger for Latin America as well as to other parts of the world as it tries to impose its dominance and imperialist hegemony in the area by spreading the vicious capitalist plague in the name of freedom and democracy Har- necker, , p. Greatly impressive are the Bolivarian Missions with their emphasis on human development and the creative capacity of all individuals to create dem- ocratic social formations able to address local needs in the context of a larger project of human emancipation by means of political transformation.

These missions consist of anti-poverty and social welfare programs. We were fortu- nate to be able to visit some of them. In one year, the Chavez government was able to graduate 1,, Venezuelans from Mission Robinson, a program launched in June This method uses a combination of video classes and texts which, in only seven weeks, bring students to a basic literacy level. Indigenous peoples are taught to read and write in Spanish and in their own languages, in line with the indigenous rights outlined in the Bolivarian Constitution, Articles , and Mission Robinson II provides basic education up to sixth grade, and Mission Robinson III teaches functional literacy and links these efforts to the creation of production units.

Mission Ribas, a two-year remedial secondary school program that teaches Spanish, mathematics, world geography, Venezuelan economics, world history, Ven- ezuelan history, English, physics, chemistry, biology and computer science , targets 5 million Venezuelan dropouts. This program has a community and social-labor component, where groups use their personal experience and their learning to develop practical proposals to solve community problems.

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Mission Sucre provides a scholarship program in higher education to the most impoverished sectors of Venezuela, graduating university professionals in thee years as opposed to the traditional five years. In sum, socialist pedagogy has a long and diversified history especially in accordance with revolutionary times in various parts of the world see Ewing, True socialist pedagogies and revolutionary movements have always meant persistent struggle for social justice and radical humaniza- tion of society.

In furthering radical humanization it still needs examples of vibrant movements like those mentioned above, and others, which join forces with revolutionary parties in reciprocal learning for political, eco- nomical, ecological, social, and cultural change. In capitalist societies, that social form is human capital Rikowski, Schools are charged with educating a certain form of human capi- tal, with socially producing labor power, and in doing so enhancing specific attributes of labor power that serve the interests of capital.

In other words, schools educate the labor-power needs of capital—for capital in general, for the national capital, for fractions of capital manufacturing, finance, services, etc. Practical education tries to shape labor-power attributes in the direction of skills needed within specific fractions or sectors of capital. Training, on the other hand, involves educating for labor-power attributes that will best serve specific or individual capitals Rikowski, In so far as one of the central goals of socialist pedagogy is to chal- lenge the canonical unfolding of a capitalized ideological hegemony, and its progressive integration into the historical flow of our everyday lives, it is important to note that capital needs to be described not only as the subsumption of concrete, living labor by abstract alienated labor but also as a mode of being, as a unified social force that flows through our subjec- tivities, our bodies, our meaning-making capacities.

Schools educate labor- power by serving as a medium for its constitution or its social production in the service of capital. But schools are more than this, they do more than nourish labor-power because all of capitalist society accomplishes that; in addition to producing capital-in-general, schools additionally condition labor power in the varying interests of the marketplace. But because labor power is a living commodity, and a highly contradictory one at that, it can be re-educated and shaped in the interests of building socialism, that is, in creating opportunities for the self-emancipation of the working-class.

Labor power, as the capacity or potential to labor, does not have to serve its current master—capital. It serves the master only when it engages in the act of laboring for a wage. Because individuals can refuse to labor in the interests of capital accumulation, labor power can therefore serve another cause—the cause of socialism.

Socialist education can be used as a means of fi nding ways of transcending the contradictory aspects of labor-power creation and creating different spaces where a de-reification, de-commodi- fication, and decolonization of subjectivity can occur. Socialist education is an agonistic arena where the development of a discerning political subjec- tivity can be fashioned recognizing that there will always be socially-and- self-imposed constraints.

From the perspective of revolutionary critical pedagogy a term coined by Paula Allman, , , socialist education is multifaceted in that it brings a Marxist humanist and socialist perspective to a wide range of policy and curriculum issues. The list of topics includes the globalization of capitalism, the marketization of education, neoliberalism and school reform, imperialism and capitalist schooling, and so on. Revolutionary classrooms are prefigurative of socialism in the sense that they are connected to just social relations in the outside world.

Combination of education with industrial production, etc. An incipient socialist pedagogy can be seen in the learning tasks described by Stephen Brookfield in his book, The Power of Criti- cal Theory although Brookfield does not use the term socialist but critical to describe his pedagogy. The first task that of challenging ideology, is to set people free from the servitude of the repressive ideas.

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Second, a socialist pedagogy helps students to contest aspects of hegemony that affirms political control in the hands of the rich and powerful. Third, socialist education is directed at unmasking power. This is accom- plished by facilitating people to read the word and the world analytically and critically, and encouraging them to acknowledge and act on the power that they already possess. A socialist pedagogy helps students overcome alienation and creates the context for the struggle for human freedom, which can only exist in a non-alienated world.

Alienation does not describe only capitalist conditions but all the other forms of social life reducing human beings to commodities in the economical or infrastruc- ture of capitalist society. Fourth, a socialist pedagogy is learning about liberation.

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It thus sees momentarily reflective privacy not as retreat from collective solidarity but a true revolutionary act, a deepening step into the real world Brookfield, , p. The fifth task for socialist education has to do with reclaiming reason p. An impor- tant element of reasoning is to direct it towards a good cause, to criticize inhuman circumstances, and to construct a better world. Reasoning con- cerns all spheres of life, and can take various forms.

In socialist pedagogy it can refer to basic literacy reading, writing, math and to economic, health, and media literacy. And fi nally, one of the central tasks of a social pedagogy is practicing democracy as part of the overall process of furthering political and eco- nomic transformation.

Revolution and Pedagogy

Socialist education aims at facilitating human beings as capable of think- ing collectively, co-operatively, and in solidarity with their fellow human beings and often adopts an ecosocialist perspective with respect to the bio- sphere or nature. Socialist education fosters critical and analytical skills to comprehend the world, to read the world, and to act within and upon the world in ways that build the conditions necessary for a socialist soci- ety.

Only a conscious working class can end the rationale that greed is good, that war is necessary evil. The working class needs to edu- cate itself; not only by creating more opportunities for labor education, but also for diverse literacy in economy, media, environment, health, cultural and aesthetics. This will eventually further to a working class and human way of looking at the world and ability to right measures to various socio-political matters.

Furthermore workers self-education raises class-consciousness, and overall interest in being-in-the-world, a sense of a leftist and just culture. In addi- tion international solidarity and co-operation are high on the list of urgent tasks as well as environmental issues, for socialist education aims at the balance between human beings, and human beings and nature.

http://ttkb.dev3.develag.com/360.php Socialist education assumes after Marx and Engels , p. Socialization of the means of production is the condition of human freedom, and for the meaningful life at work and elsewhere see Fromm, , pp. Socialist education combines hand and heart, and educates fully developed human beings who possess not only voca- tional and intellectual skills but also such human qualities, among others, as utilitarianism, solidarity, co-operation, mercy, faith, love, and hopeful- ness along with a sense of beauty, and respect of others regardless of their race, gender, religion, or age.

Although a plethora of conservative commentators and authors have claimed that socialism is dead, especially given the fall of the Berlin Wall in , and the end of the Soviet Union in , many socialist ideals live inside capitalist schooling and educational practices at the moment. Take for example such teaching and study practices as collaborative learning, study circles, forms of pedagogical constructivism, or action research. Many educational researchers, also mainstreamists, have maintained the virtues of sharing, co-operation, and helping others to learn, and that all students—children and adults alike—should get help, guidance and support according to their needs, and contribute according to their indi- vidual abilities see Bruner, It is not a wish in the wind or perpetual optimism but educated hope based on the logic of practice: the practice of educators, factory workers, cleaners, and social workers and so forth.

Socialist educators develop a vision of the future that transcends the present but is still rooted in it, one that exists in the plane of immanence, and not in some sphere of mystical transcendence. Socialist educators acknowledge the presence of the possible in the contradictions that human beings live out daily in the messy realm of capital. Dreams of the future, as the Frankfurt School reminded us, too often confiscate the very political energies that are necessary for their very realization. Yet there is still something to be said for trying to speak the unspeakable. For the fact is that any authentic future must be to some extent in line with the present as well as discontinuous with it.

If it is not—if the future is not somehow inherent in the material forces of the present—then it is just wishful thinking, a vacuous, purely gestural kind of politics. An authentic future must be feasible as well as desirable. Otherwise we will persuade men and women to desire uselessly, and so, like the neurotic, to fall ill of longing.

Global Education

In fact, we could claim that utopia is inherent in the present in at least this sense: that without some dim notion of justice, freedom and equality, we would have no standard by which to judge the present, and so would be incapable of identifying its defects The future is already potentially present in the shape of the blind spots and contradictions of the present—in its silences and exclusions, its conflicts and fragmentations. Not only must socialist educators understand the needs and capacities of human beings—with the goal of satisfying the former and fully developing the latter—but they need to express them in ways that will encourage new cultural formations, institutional structures and social relations of produc- tion that can best help meet those needs and nurture those capacities to the fullest through democratic participation.

Socialist educators strive to bring about changes in the eco- nomic, social and cultural order not by emptying out subjectivity but by making possible the full development of human capacities for the benefit of all Gulli, Revolutionary critical pedagogy is a socialist pedagogy but one that does not seek a predetermined form or blueprint of socialist society. Neither does it endorse the idea of the spontaneous self-organization of the multi- tude. It opposes certainties and assurances of knowledge, but not in the name of either a different certainty or of a human characteristic that is presumed to lie beneath the social.

It has hopes, not of a world that it already knows how to think about, but one that will not claim to be the culmination of time and that will not hold to ideas, ideals, or even values that seek to arrest the endless transformation of our lives together. It looks not to the perfection of detached knowledge but to an expanding attentiveness to embodied understanding.

It is a path not to the future but to a deeper experience of the present. Nor will it suffice to substitute collective capital for private capital.

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As Hudis a argues, we are in a struggle to negate the value form of mediation, not produce it in different degrees, scales or registers. Yet some have stressed balanced and politically and globally regulated market economy as in current social democracies in Europe where none of the governments lean towards a total state ownership of the means of production.

Socialist educators need also to answer an educational question, who educates whom in the future socialist society? In his problem-posing education as a humanist and liberating praxis he maintained that the oppressed and dominated people must fight for their emancipation p. Students of higher education have also approached the former question by maintaining the possibilities of lifelong learning in the societies of postscarcity, largely in the spirit of young Marx: For the fi rst time in human history everyone may be able to pursue their own educational ends at any age and for the goal of individual development.


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In the post-work world intellectual and aesthetic interests of students are primary. Forms of art become forms of life both in the curriculum of socialist pedagogy, and in the quotidian existence of the population. Socialist pedagogy can help to create a society where real equality exists on an everyday basis by challenging the causes of racism, class oppression, and sexism and their association with the exploitation of labor demands.

A socialist pedagogy offers tools for critical teachers and cultural workers to re- examine capitalist schooling in the contextual specificity of global capitalist relations. Critical educators recognize that schools as social sites are linked to wider social and political struggles in society and that such struggles have a global reach.

Here the development of a critical consciousness enables stu- dents to theorize and critically reflect upon their social experiences, and also to translate critical knowledge into political activism. A socialist pedagogy actively involves students in the construction of working-class social move- ments. They are committed to the idea that the task of overcoming existing social antago- nisms can only be accomplished through class struggle, the road map out of the messy gridlock of historical amnesia. Socialist Pedagogy in Public Resistance, 2 1.

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It also incorporates some sections taken from Peter McLaren. New York: Lang. Some of these modern forms of socialism include but are not limited to African socialism, Christian socialism, Communism, democratic socialism, guild socialism, humanist socialism, Islamic socialism, libertarian socialism, social democracy, syndicalism, utopian socialism and their diverse variations in such orientations as Angka, Castroism, Juche, Leninism, Maoism, situ- ationism, Stalinism and Trotskyism. The prolonged aversion of social class has nowadays diminished in adult education discourse, and the concept of class gained new momentum.

An expanded version of some of the ideas presented from here on can be found in Peter McLaren. Fire and dust.


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International Journal of Pro- gressive Education, 1 3. Allman, P. Rotterdam and Tapei: Sense Publishers. Ewing Editor. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 15 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book!

Industry Reviews "In an age of sterile defeatism and destructive cynicism, this book provides a refreshingly balanced look at the possibilities of social change through pedagogy. In Stock. Probability in Physics An Introductory Guide. Essential Relativistic Celestial Mechanics. This "Cited by" count includes citations to the following articles in Scholar. Add co-authors Co-authors. Upload PDF. Follow this author. New articles by this author. New citations to this author. New articles related to this author's research.

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