Education and the Crisis of Public Values (Counterpoints)

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9781433112164: Education and the Crisis of Public Values (Counterpoints)

Education and the Crisis of Public Values examines the shift in American society away from democratic public values, the ensuing move toward a market-driven mode of education, and the growing social disinvestment in youth in the last decade. The book examines how the ideal of public education as a democratic public sphere, has been under siege in a number of ways, including full fledged attacks by corporate interests on public school teachers, schools of education, and teacher unions. The book also examines how a business culture cloaked in the guise of generosity and reform has supported a charter school movement that takes as its aim the dismantling of public schools in favor of a corporate-friendly privatized system. The book concludes by arguing for educators to take on the role of public intellectuals willing to engage in creating a formative culture of learning capable of nurturing the capacities to defend public and higher education as a public good crucial to sustaining a critical citizenry and a democratic society. Central to the book is the issue of what is now required for educators, parents, and concerned citizens to align education with a defense of public values, critical education to a defense of public life, and the construction of young people as individual and social agents responsible to the ideals of a democratic society.

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About the Author:

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department. His primary research areas are: cultural studies, youth studies, critical pedagogy, popular culture, media studies, social theory, and the politics of higher and public education. In 2002, he was named as one of the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern period in Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education: From Piaget to the Present. In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate from Memorial University in Canada. He is on the editorial and advisory boards of numerous national and international scholarly journals, and he serves as the editor or co-editor of four scholarly book series. He has published numerous books and articles and his most recent books include: The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex; Against the Terror of Neoliberalism; and Youth in a Suspect Society: Democracy or Disposability?

Review:

«I have been reading Henry A. Giroux for decades and in this book he has never been better nor clearer at illuminating the forces that are impairing our democracy and helping to destroy our public schools. ‘Education and the Crisis of Public Values’ is a marvelously insightful examination of the forces that have changed our nation’s teachers from citizens whom we admired, into objects of humiliation, a profession to be shamed and blamed for problems created by our businesses and the politicians who they influence. This trend must be reversed or we lose a necessary part of what makes our democracy possible.» (David Berliner)
«Henry A. Giroux is a one-of-a-kind gift to civic life, a scholar of immense learning and deep commitment to social justice. For the last three decades, he has written and spoken tirelessly in defense of the public good embedded in public education. This age has been unkind to all amenities in the public sphere and in this toxic time no one has been a stronger champion for education, students and teachers than Henry. His new book collects his sharpest critiques against privatization and his most articulate defense of public needs. In these pages, we have the intelligence we need to defend civil society against its corporate assailants.» (Ira Shor, City University of NY Graduate Center)
«Fresh, original, and articulate, Henry A. Giroux’s newest masterpiece is ‘Education and the Crisis of Public Values’. In the context of the increasing corporatization of public education, where academics are defined not as critical intellectuals but as state workers, Giroux calls for substantive and meaningful reform – reform that values engaged citizenship, civic courage, and a genuine embracing of freedom and justice. This book is an impassioned plea for our future. We all would do well to heed his call.» (Gary A. Olson, Provost and Vice President Idaho State University)
«Teachers and students have for long been on the receiving end of attacks by the state and corporate power. They should take heart from and draw strength from this book by Henry A. Giroux, one of critical pedagogy's most powerful advocates. He is the scourge of those who endorse the commodification of education and partake of the war on children and youth. He is also a great source of inspiration to those who continue to regard education as a public good and an important feature of a substantive democracy.» (Peter Mayo, University of Malta)

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