Publication Date: June 15, 1996
Series: John Dewey Lecture Series
Many are convinced that “liberal” solutions have failed and that answers to social problems lie in a return to conservative policies and values. As this conservative offensive grows increasingly powerful in education, public schooling itself has come under attack. Michael Apple offers a powerful analysis of current debates and a compelling indictment of rightist proposals for change. Apple presents the causes and effects of integrating schools into the corporate agenda and demonstrates who will be the winners and losers as the conservative restoration gains in strength. Far from defending the status quo, Apple argues that the unresponsive and bureau-cratic nature of many school systems has actually pushed people toward the right. “Yet,” he writes, “during an era when...we face the massive dismantling of the gains that have been made in social welfare, in women’s control of their bodies, in relations of race, gender, and sexuality, and in whose knowledge is taught in schools, it is equally important to make certain that these gains are defended.” With this dual focus, this book provides an eloquent defense of the possibility of a more democratic public education.
Michael W. Apple is John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
“Michael Apple is among the most distinguished scholars in the world who are involved in the struggle to build a critical and democratic education.”
“In this timely and provocative book, Michael Apple once again throws light on some of the key issues confronting education...Apple draws upon contemporary social theory to show how education policy relates to broader societal processes and demonstrates the complex and contradictory nature of current developments in education.... This is a book that should be read by all educators who are committed to social justice.”
—Geoff Whitty, Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education, University of London
“Through the years, Michael Apple has provided us with one of the most compelling narratives we have about the public school in its relation to economic forces, prevailing ideologies, and what Kozol calls ‘savage inequalities.’ Entering into the domain of cultural politics, he sharpens and further develops his insistence that we consider “educational reform” within a carefully wrought social context.... There is hope in this ﬁne book, if we can muster the energy to transform.”
—Maxine Greene, Teachers College, Columbia University
“Michael Apple has woven together a picture of politics and education.... To take seriously the cultural politics of education, he warns us, we must take all these elements into account. And he is right. This book is certainly a contribution to our understanding of the complex interactions between culture and power in education.... Apple, with a masterful command of the language, can portray—with elegance and rigor—such a wide range of themes.”
—Carlos Alberto Torres, Professor and Director of the Latin American Center, UCLA