Henry Giroux: Rethinking the Promise of Critical Education Under an Obama Regime
Tuesday 02 December 2008
by: Chronis Polychroniou, t r u t h o u t | Interview
In the most general sense, I understand education as a moral and political practice whose purpose is not only to introduce students to the great reservoir of diverse intellectual ideas and traditions, but also to engage those inherited bodies of knowledge thorough critical dialogue, analysis and comprehension. At the same time, education is a set of social experiences and an ethical space through which it becomes possible to rethink what Jacques Derrida once called the concepts of the "possible and the impossible," and to enable what Jacques Rancière calls loosening the coordinates of the sensible through a constant reexamination of the boundaries that distinguish the sensible from the subversive. Both theorists are concerned with how the boundaries of knowledge and everyday life are constructed in ways that seem unquestionable, making it necessary not only to interrogate commonsense assumptions, but also to ask what it means to question such assumptions and see beyond them. As a political and moral practice, education always presupposes a vision of the future in its introduction to, preparation for and legitimization of particular forms of social life, demanding answers to the questions of whose future is affected by these forms. For what ends and to what purposes do they endure?
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