Discerning Critical Hope in Educational Practices: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Discerning Critical Hope in Educational Practices

1st Edition

Edited by Vivienne Bozalek, Brenda Leibowitz, Ronelle Carolissen, Megan Boler


192 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138090071
pub: 2017-06-07
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Hardback: 9780415826327
pub: 2013-11-25
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How can discerning critical hope enable us to develop innovative forms of teaching, learning and social practices that begin to address issues of marginalization, privilege and access across different contexts?

At this millennial point in history, questions of cynicism, despair and hope arise at every turn, especially within areas of research into social justice and the struggle for transformation in education. While a sense of fatalism and despair is easily recognizable, establishing compelling bases for hope is more difficult. This book addresses the absence of sustained analyses of hope that simultaneously recognize the hard edges of why we despair.

The volume posits the notion of critical hope not only as conceptual and theoretical, but also as an action-oriented response to despair. Our notion of critical hope is used in two ways: it is used firstly as a unitary concept which cannot be disaggregated into either hopefulness or criticality, and secondly, as an analytical concept, where critical hope is engaged and diversely theorized in ways that recognize aspects of individual and collective directions of critical hope. The book is divided into four sub-sections:

  • Critical Hope in Education

  • Critical Hope and a Critique of Neoliberalism

  • Critical Race Theory/Postcolonial Perspectives on Critical Hope

  • Philosophical Overviews of Critical Hope.

Education can be a purveyor of critical hope, but it also requires critical hope so that it, as a sector itself, can be transformative. With contributions from international experts in the field, the book will be of value to all academics and practitioners working in the field of education.


‘Hopelessness is entirely the wrong reaction to critical research that exposes the deep-seated, complex and resilient nature of the inequalities that shape, and are shaped by, education systems. This important new collection brings together scholars from different nations and different traditions to explore the realistic, critical and inspirational hope that drives activists forward in their search for liberatory and equitable education.’ - David Gillborn, Director, Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE), University of Birmingham, UK.

‘Instead of being bathed in utopian hope, education has become the dumping ground of neoliberal ideology, modes of governance, and policy. Discerning Critical Hope engages, interrogates, and affirms the notion that educated hope is the precondition for not only modes of pedagogy and education that are faithful to the precepts of justice and human rights, but also to the primacy of politics and democracy itself. This book is a must read and offers a counterpoint to a neoliberal culture in which cynicism and despair have become a permanent fixture.’ - Henry Giroux, Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University, Canada.

‘This collection on critical hope in education needs to be sampled for its delicacy and probing. There is an expansive erudition at play when authors engage movingly and disruptively with meanings of critical hope to avow their contingency with a view of education that foregrounds the emancipatory potential of the social. In quite promising leaps the authors offer dynamic and ontologically profound conceptions of education as a persistent encounter with the ethical. And the hope remains in the prevalence of a just education that exists in a cultural space from within, yet situated in the amazement of what is to come.’ - Yusef Waghid, Professor of Philosophy of Education, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Table of Contents

Introduction Vivienne Bozalek, Ronelle Carolissen, Brenda Leibowitz and Megan Boler Part 1: Critical Hope in Education Affective, Political and Ethical Sensibilities in Pedagogies of Critical Hope: Exploring the Notion of ‘Critical Emotional Praxis’ Michalinos Zembylas Teaching for Hope: The Ethics of Shattering World Views Megan Boler A Pedagogy of Hope in South African Higher Education Vivienne Bozalek, Ronelle Carolissen and Brenda Leibowitz Part 2: Critical Hope and a Critique of Neoliberalism "That’s Scary. But it’s not Hopeless": Critical Pedagogy and Redemptive Narratives of Hope Gustavo Fischman and Eric Haas Plasticity, Critical Hope and the Regeneration of Human Rights Education Andre Keet Critical Hope: Deconstructing of the Politics of HOPE at a South African University Henk van Rinsum Part 3: Critical Race Theory/Postcolonial Perspectives on Critical Hope Critical Hope and Struggles for Justice: An Antidote to Despair for Antiracism Educators Ronald Glass Agents of Critical Hope: Black British Narratives Paul Warmington Decolonizing Education: Discovering Critical Hope in Marginal Spaces Merlyne Cruz Part 4: Philosophical Overviews of Critical Hope Hope: An Emancipatory Resource Across the Ages John Horton Critical Hopes – Gratitude and the Magic of Encounter Mary Zournazi

About the Editors

Vivienne Bozalek is Professor of Social Work and Director of Teaching and Learning at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Brenda Leibowitz is Director of Teaching and Learning at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Ronelle Carolissen is Associate Professor of Community Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Megan Boler is Professor in History and Philosophy of Education at the University of Toronto, Canada.

About the Series

Foundations and Futures of Education

Foundations and Futures of Education focuses on key emerging issues in education as well as continuing debates within the field. The series is inter-disciplinary, and includes historical, philosophical, sociological, psychological and comparative perspectives on the purposes and nature of education; increasing interdisciplinarity within the field; and the theory-practice divide.

Peter Aggleton, UNSW Australia
Sally Power, Cardiff University, UK 
Michael Reiss, UCL Institute of Education, UK

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects