Power and Education
ISSN 1757-7438


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Volume 2 Number 1 2010

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CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]

 

Susanna Hannus & Hannu Simola. The Effects of Power Mechanisms in Education: bringing Foucault and Bourdieu together, pages 1‑17
Gillean McCluskey & Mirriam Lephalala. ‘A person is a person because of others’: challenges to meanings of discipline in South African and UK schools, pages 18‑30
Michelle Forrest, Miriam Cooley & Linda Wheeldon. Mapping the Movement of Invention: collaboration as rhizome in teaching and research, pages 31‑47
Jill Jameson. Trust and Leadership in Post-Compulsory Education: some snapshots of displaced dissent, pages 48‑62
Christiane Thompson. The Power of Authority: challenging educational theory and practice, pages 63‑74
Cameron McCarthy & Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz. Teaching Difficult History: Eric Williams’ Capitalism and Slavery and the challenge of critical pedagogy in the contemporary classroom, pages 75‑84
Jennifer Lavia & Pat Sikes. ‘What part of me do I leave out?’: in pursuit of decolonising practice, pages 85‑96
Anne Pirrie, Kevin Adamson & Walter Humes. Flexing Academic Identities: speaking truth to power, pages 97‑106

BOOK REVIEWS
Transnational Perspectives on Culture, Policy, and Education: redirecting cultural studies in neoliberal times (Cameron McCarthy & Cathryn Teasley, Eds), reviewed by Douglas Brown, pages 107‑109
Journey into Dialogic Pedagogy (Eugene Matusov), reviewed by Alexander M. Sidorkin, pages 109‑111
Labor of Learning: market and the next generation of educational reform (Alexander M. Sidorkin), reviewed by Eugene Matusov, pages 111‑114 doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.1.107 VIEW FULL TEXT


The Effects of Power Mechanisms in Education: bringing Foucault and Bourdieu together

doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.1.1

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The aim of this article is to outline a theoretical framework for an empirical study focusing on the question of how schools from socio-culturally different areas face new governance and its power mechanisms. The authors’ aim is to bring together Pierre Bourdieu’s and Michel Foucault’s approaches to power, capitalising at the same time on Risto Heiskala’s recent synthesising theorisation of power. In terms of elaboration, the authors outline a four-dimensional framework in which episteme, ethos, theasis and techne constitute the four faces from the Foucauldian perspective. The respective Bourdieuan contributions constitute linguistic markets, institutional habitus, distinctions, and mechanisms of reproduction. In this treatment, it appears that the strength of the Foucauldian tools in the authors’ intellectual box for their empirical research on the effects of new governance is on the level of the political, whereas Bourdieu also provides tools for the analysis of politics. The authors’ conclusion is a heuristic device, a catalogue of possibilities, a springboard for field study.

‘A person is a person because of others’: challenges to meanings of discipline in South African and UK schools

doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.1.18

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In this article the authors consider current understandings of discipline in schools in the United Kingdom and South Africa. The concern is with exploring the discipline/punishment/power nexus in education in both countries; with how reductionist versions of discipline as authoritarianism interweave with views about the aims and perceived need for punishment in schools, and how this is driven by perceptions of a need to maintain control or power over young people, often viewed as a ‘generation of suspects’. The authors argue that a restorative approach can be used to build more inclusive school communities where staff and students negotiate new meanings of discipline and power. Some of the key challenges associated with a restorative approach are then explored in detail and the notion of ubuntu – ‘A person is a person because of others’ – strongly associated with the new South Africa and its reassertion of traditional principles and values, is suggested as a useful compass for future development in both countries. In very different contexts, but facing many of the same challenges, the authors ask: What can the United Kingdom learn from South Africa and what can South Africa learn from the United Kingdom?

Mapping the Movement of Invention: collaboration as rhizome in teaching and research

doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.1.31

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The collaborative education research as art created by The (1+1+1) Collective is examined as heuretics, the movement of invention. Heuretics both enacts and documents the movement of the research process and therefore helps balance the biases, which are expressions of power, inherent in the means of expressing any inquiry. This methodology, which acts as a rhizome, offers a model for academic collaboration; it maps the movement of invention by enacting moves provoked by the heuristic of chance as in the example of process art, which can be understood philosophically in terms of Deleuzian ontology and Deleuze & Guattari’s conceptualisation of philosophy as one of the three great forms of thought. Throughout the article, connections are made to teacher education and research, and it is suggested that understanding the value of heuretics can help the teacher and the researcher avoid methodological fundamentalism.

Trust and Leadership in Post-Compulsory Education: some snapshots of displaced dissent

doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.1.48

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While education cannot function without trust, its loss in institutions sometimes goes unspoken, officially unreported, only shared in ways invisible to measurement or control. This article considers issues of trust, power and displaced dissent, providing some snapshots of participant views about questions of trust and leadership recorded in a series of 28 interviews and 242 electronic survey responses from the post-compulsory education or ‘lifelong learning’ sector in 2004‑09. This formed part of an externally funded research project which collected data in three timed data collection phases. Snapshots of displaced dissent from a minority of participants expressed disquiet regarding the level of trust operating in their educational institutions, in response to questions about ‘trust and leadership’. These snapshots are random examples of dissent emerging from those whose power to speak out in their own institutions was limited, for fear of reprisals. They are collected together to provide evidence of otherwise unspoken things that may lie beneath the silences operating in a minority of post-compulsory educational institutions regarding considerations of trust. A theoretical model of the operation of organisational trust is proposed that recommends open and consensual dialogic practices for the development of more trusting situations in post-compulsory education workplaces.

The Power of Authority: challenging educational theory and practice

doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.1.63

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In the modern pedagogical tradition, ‘authority’ refers to the educator’s duty to make decisions and take responsibility when the child cannot yet do so. In this article, the author argues that this notion of authority is difficult not only because of the precarious balance Kant noted between freedom and constraint within education, but also because authority implies social references and measures, and therefore power structures and domination. Focusing on a pedagogical scene from the French documentary Être et avoir, this article analyzes the logic of power with reference to the works of Foucault, Bourdieu, and Derrida. The article closes with reflections on the role of educational philosophy concerning the ‘power of authority’.

Teaching Difficult History: Eric Williams’ Capitalism and Slavery and the challenge of critical pedagogy in the contemporary classroom

doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.1.75

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A fear of the past can inhibit the freedoms of the present as pedagogic practices that deny complex, and even contradictory, histories bind learners to normative narratives. The failure to recognize the complexities of difficult historical themes – presenting and representing them as something so much simpler so that they may fit in with dominant ways of being – disempowers both the ‘ordinary’ people who shaped history and those whose lives emerge from those histories: if we do not know where we came from, how can we know who we are? The authors examine this concern here through the teaching of the transatlantic slave trade and, in particular, through Eric Williams’ seminal book Capitalism and Slavery (1944). Williams released a petrified history into the present and the authors argue that his engagement with history provides a model of post-colonial pedagogy that is urgently relevant to today’s classroom. Moreover, his work is highly pertinent to the teaching of the histories of subjugated and even subversive groups struggling to assert their identities against past and present discourses centering upon race, class and gender.

‘What part of me do I leave out?’: in pursuit of decolonising practice

doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.1.85

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This article seeks to foreground the realities and lived experiences of academics who choose to work in non-traditional settings and in non-traditional ways. In doing so, the authors provide narratives to illuminate how centre/periphery encounters are played out as a politics of recognition. The authors provide a critical account of how working on the University of Sheffield’s Caribbean Programme has confronted them as subaltern yet organic intellectuals with the complexities and pervasiveness of history, politics and culture where centre/periphery relations require interrogation. Through their narratives the authors seek to privilege (a) the creative, dialogic and discursive spaces in which they work; (b) the centrality of the philosophical, methodological and pedagogical opportunities these spaces provide; and (c) the strategic intervention of critical intellectuals in their work within the academy. The authors highlight sites of contestation in implementing the university’s civic mission in respect of international communities. Finally, the authors offer in their interpretations of these transnational experiences an understanding of how research practice can embrace a decolonising agenda.

Flexing Academic Identities: speaking truth to power

doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.1.97

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This article is intended as a contribution to the debate on the changing landscape of higher education in the United Kingdom. It challenges the notion that the spread of bureaucratic rationality and the rise of corporate culture have invariably resulted in a loss of meaning in academic life. Drawing upon the work of Onora O’Neill, Max Weber and Jürgen Habermas, the article argues for a more measured response to calls for greater accountability in higher education. The function of university mission groups is also examined, particularly in respect of their role in discursively producing notions of superiority and inferiority in the sector. The authors suggest that it is as much the machinations of influential university mission groups as the ‘iron cage’ of societal rationalisation that have brought about a perceived loss of freedom in academic life.

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