Beyond Schooling : An Anarchist Challenge book cover
1st Edition

Beyond Schooling
An Anarchist Challenge

ISBN 9780367187835
Published April 25, 2019 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Provocative and engagingly written, Beyond Schooling offers a challenging perspective on State schooling in England and the unrelenting increase in centralisation from the late 1960s until the present day. Exploring how the education of our children and young people should be recaptured from the State as the country moves into a precarious future, this book:

  • argues that any fundamental reconsideration of schooling has much to learn from an anarchist analysis;
  • introduces readers unfamiliar with anarchism to the main themes of this political philosophy and practice and their relationship to the political left and right;
  • shows how an anarchist perspective on education raises deep issues about the community and the use of power;
  • questions the notions of full-time schooling and age-grading, alongside conventional conceptions of the teaching profession and the potential educational role of parents as work declines or disappears.

In its original reflections on the state of contemporary schooling and the paths to future reform, Beyond Schooling is a must-read for anyone seeking a new vision for the future of education and schooling.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The future of schooling: a distinctively different direction of travel; Chapter 2 Anarchism and the abolition of the State: an intention to murder, Russian-style; Chapter 3 Murdering the State, in American deschooler-style; Chapter 4  Anarchism English-style: State murder by other means; Chapter 5 The State and Schooling: some old and some new assailants; Chapter 6 Anarchist challenges to State schooling from the Right, American-style; Chapter 7 State schooling versus community education; Chapter 8 Utopia and the remaking of social and educational systems; Chapter 9 Power and resistance in society and in education; Chapter 10 Two paths to a new imaginary for education and schooling; Chapter 11 Education, not Schooling: realising the new imaginary; Bibliography

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David H. Hargreaves is Fellow Emeritus of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He has been Professor of Education in the University of Cambridge and Reader in Education in the University of Oxford. He has also been Chief Inspector of the Inner London Education Authority, Chief Executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, Chairman of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, and Policy Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education. He is a Foundation Academician of the Academy of the Social Sciences.


This powerful indictment of state-dictated schooling and of the gulf between data-driven performance and education leads into a passionately argued vision of how things could be. Both analysis and prescription draw on very wide reading, including sympathetically but critically presented anarchist perspectives. But they reflect, deeply, David Hargreaves’ long experience as a teacher, researcher, LEA chief inspector, government adviser and wide involvement in professional development. The style combines deep personal involvement with unfailingly lucid analysis. The book is a distinctive and distinguished achievement


Tony Edwards, Emeritus Professor Of Education, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


Dominant models of schooling favoured by the UK and many other countries across the world have not only ceased to be fit for the imperatives of contemporary purpose. They also exemplify and extend a national and international betrayal of education.

In times such as these, a book which names the malaise, identifies and analyses it key failings and proposes an imaginative, inspiring and profoundly life-affirming alternative is to be welcomed with open arms.

Opportune, imaginative, deeply practical and utterly necessary, this remarkable book offers a contribution of immense national and international importance


Michael Fielding, Emeritus Professor, UCL Institute of Education, UK

After 50 years in English education I thought I knew its history and the reforms it needs.  How wrong I was.  This book has forced me to question and reject some of my basic assumptions. The process was unsettling and exhilarating, challenging and truly educational.


Frank Coffield, Emeritus Professor of Education, UCL Institute of Education, London University, UK