Guide Anarchism and Education: A Philosophical Perspective

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Why do educational policy and practice need philosophy?
  1. The Politics of Education | Issue 63 | Philosophy Now
  2. Read Anarchism and Education: A Philosophical Perspective (Routledge International Studies in the
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  4. 2. Anarchism in Political Philosophy

Drawing on research from both primary and secondary sources, she presents strong scholarship that takes the reader through the philosophical discussions essential to understanding anarchic experiments in education while she simultaneously exposes the often silenced or ignored history of anarchist engagement with education.

The Politics of Education | Issue 63 | Philosophy Now

Sussia presents diverse case studies of anarchist educational experiments that offer a variety of alternatives to the mono- culture monster of schooling. With each case study, she connects the importance of anarchist theory with the critical and ethical context of acting to directly expose, undermine, interrupt, and even destroy socially constructed hierarchical authority. BOOK REVIEWS To set the backdrop for filling such a tall order, Suissa lays out a survey of anarchist philosophy that introduces the reader to a spectrum of anarchist perspec- tives from individualist to socialist.

The first chapters of the book are essential, as they set up a foundation from which Sussia is able to unfold a strong case for anarchist contributions in current discussions on education. Through a riveting narrative Downloaded by [Washington State University Libraries ] at 24 March that emerges from strong research, Suissa not only exposes readers to the critical foundations of anarchism, but she also presents strong profiles of anarchism as inseparable from great sensibility, compassion, and a dedication to the pursuit of freedom and equality.

Al- though Sussia does not go explicitly into the differences between Marxist reform and anarchist projects, the book provides a strong foundation for how those dis- tinctions influence education. However, what stands out in the text is how anarchic dissent has always worked in diverse ways to reclaim how we imagine the world.

Reading this text, it is almost impossible to ignore the contributions of anarchism to the field of educational studies and to go without asking critical and ethical questions regarding why we teach. Asking these questions, I turn my attention to the gift of being—the gift of the planet, the land, the water, the animals, the plants, the gift of each other, and the gift of our abilities to plan and prepare with the capacity of cohabitating in what some call utopian, but anarchists imagine as communities. Diverse, local, and free from authoritarian rule in anarchist concepts of communities, we all share the gift and responsibility of belonging.

No matter how buried beneath concrete and concepts, human cultures remain of and with the relationships of mutualism that support their existence. We are alive and in relationship to the land and all that dwell among us and in death we shall remain as a part of that community in memory and in physical exchange as we decompose continuing the cooperation. Despite how our eyes and institutionally socialized minds tell us to individualize our human nature over remembering, our being a part of complex set of relationships is always there.

I found the book to be of exceptional use as a text for students and colleagues who have either dismissed anarchism through misconceptions or have never been formally intro- Downloaded by [Washington State University Libraries ] at 24 March duced. DeLeon writes: anarchist theory adds to this tradition more salient examples of praxis and resistance, a fundamental critique of hierarchical systems like the State, and questions, more radically, the institutions of capitalism and the relationship to these economic, social, and cultural systems.

Tracing anarchist history is by no means an easy task as most of the major contributors to all accounts of anarchism are often situated in the socio-cultural context in which the great anarchists were speaking, writing, and working in solidarity to resist authority.

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Sussia, a strong ethical scholar, spends extended time in this text addressing how misconceptions made about anarchism emerge from generalizations that anarchist theory or even social anarchist philosophy can be reduced into one single model. Although this is often a point of contention in a culture shaped and disciplined to locate a single explanation, the text introduces to readers the contradiction between anarchist values and dominant Western culture.

Sussia handles potential frustration and confusion by assuring readers that although there exists no one social anarchist perspective, there are some general unifying points.

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This book is a phenomenal introduction to anarchism and its importance to the field of educational studies. Sussia, with great precision, works thoughtfully through some clearly articulated tensions between dominant critical educational reform and anarchist experiments. To seriously explore the potential of education that is situational, local, and supportive of living systems requires the consideration of anarchism as something completely different and opposed to many of the dominant cultural norms that have been socially constructed to govern how we, as subjects of Modernity, make meaning.

Anarchism and Education: A Philosophical Perspective offers an introduction to understanding how anarchists and anarchist theory contribute to ever-evolving Downloaded by [Washington State University Libraries ] at 24 March and adapting perspectives through which we can learn to support and value con- cepts like community, mutual aid, diversity, and solidarity.

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The impacts of authoritarian top-down policy often result in resistance, especially in the form of educational experiments, which creates the opportunity to commit to understanding education as situational, local, and in support of living systems. Sussia reminds us that anarchists educate in ways that engage participants in addressing the assumptions that have led to an erosion of solidarity. Anarchism reaffirms that imagination and interruptions to authority are necessary to understand and change the social and economic conditions that create the illusions of individualism.

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Towards an Anarchism for Education. It clarified a lot of my understanding of how anarchist thinking might apply to education and pushed me to think about philosophy of education more generally. It turns out that, at least according to the author I am a little bit more optimistic in my view of human nature, than what Suissa refers to as the 'social anarchists' and have an educational philosophy that is closer to libertarian than anarchist.

1. Varieties of Anarchism

I'm a little embarrassed about the later, but also relieved I always worried I was a little bit of an authoritarian around education. The challenge that Suissa took on was evident as she attempted to draw out a coherent educational philosophy from dispirit anarchist thinkers who had never set out a philosophy of education per say. I am not convinced that she has a anarchist philosophy of education nailed down, but that doesn't bother me.

By the middle of the book I certainly agreed that considering an anarchist philosophy of education was valuable simply to gain a better sense of the possibilities of education philosophy more generally.

While none of this was very useful to me as a child care provider in an immediate practical way, it was actually very useful for me in thinking more long term about the trade I am in and how it might possible fit into a vision of a different society. I think my biggest disappointment was that the author did not provide more back ground on Marxist education philosophy and explain an anarchist philosophy of education by contrast.

I feel she did a great job explaining the relationship between liberal i. Most clear to me at the close of the book was the problem in current mainstream education philosophy is not being able to hope I understand that a clear way that anarchist and Marxist education philosophy would differ is that anarchist philosophy asks one to act on this hope or vision in a prefigurative way, where a Marxist philosophy would dismiss this as a possibility, but I missed having more information and analysis about Marxist education.

Finally, one of the things I found most interesting, as I had never really read about education philosophy generally, was thinking about how far away the current 'education reform movement' ala waiting for superman, the Gates Foundation, and Sec. Duncan is from liberal mainstream education philosophy. Is there a philosophy of education that is behind this movement, or is it a philosophy of management or business? May 27, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorite-books-read. Groundbreaking work! This little book ties together loose strands of anarchist political philosophy and contemporary progressive educational theory into a cohesive, concise examination of the history, thought, and practice of this radical social project.

Equal parts an examination and exculpation of social anarchist theory in general and an investigation into what "anarchist education" looks like, I've never read anything like it. Highly recommended, even - and perhaps especially - for those s Groundbreaking work! Highly recommended, even - and perhaps especially - for those skeptical of anarchism as a viable political philosophy. Jan 26, 'Izzat Radzi rated it really liked it Shelves: anarchism , education , marxism , philosophy , usa. It was a new topic, so no long review I guess. This read just causes a few books to move up in the pile and increases to-read list exponentially.

Sep 26, AJ rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction , This book was boring. The introduction, chapter 6 and conclusion were the only chapters I read without my eyes glossing over.

2. Anarchism in Political Philosophy

Jeff read it before me, and didn't like it mostly because other than the boring factor he'd already read a lot of primary works from anarchists and didn't like how this book is mostly composed of quotes from those works without a lot of synthesis. He didn't get anything new from it. For me, a complete beginner to anarchist theory, I felt totally overwhelmed with names I This book was boring.

For me, a complete beginner to anarchist theory, I felt totally overwhelmed with names I didn't know given no context before being massively quoted. So this book isn't for the beginner, nor is it for the more well read. I don't know who that leaves. This book also claims in the title to be about education but it's more about anarchist theory in general.

I found that to be a bit interesting because I have a lot of questions about anarchist theory, but ultimately left me a bit disappointed that out of 7 or 8 chapters, only 1 was really dedicated to education. Sep 10, Eduardo Goye rated it it was ok. The introduction, first chapters and the end were interesting.

Sadly, the book is overly repetitive and most of the times it looks like a compendium of quotes from other authors. Having read most of those authors directly, this book gave little to no new food for thought. The biggest issue is that it promises something that never delivers: a philosophical perspective on anarchism and education.

So: read the first two, the final chapter, and the conclusion. All the rest of the book is basically repeating the same ideas. Pretty good! Not very practical or immediately useful for teachers, but good for moulding a certain mindset and philosophy when it comes to moving forward with education from a social-anarchist perspective.

Author did do an excellent job compiling the array anarchist ideas into something coherent and easy to understand. A significant achievement, but not what you're looking for if you are a teacher looking for something practical to bring to your classroom. About the best you can expect, from someone who seems so clearly a sympathetic, academic liberal educator. Nov 03, Mike rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-i-own.

Brilliantly insightful overview. Brian McNiff rated it it was ok Jan 24, Corey rated it really liked it Oct 19, Erin rated it liked it Jun 01, Chris Poupart rated it it was amazing Jun 17, PM Press rated it it was amazing May 20, Charlotte rated it it was amazing Apr 24, Amy Lloyd rated it really liked it Jul 08, Jesse Taylor rated it it was amazing Nov 22,