1st Edition

Habermas, Critical Theory and Education

Edited By Mark Murphy, Ted Fleming Copyright 2010
    224 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas has had a wide-ranging and significant impact on understandings of social change and social conflict. However, there has been no concerted and focused attempt to introduce his ideas to the field of education broadly. This book rectifies this omission and delivers a definitive contribution to the understanding of Habermas's oeuvre as it applies to the field. The authors examine the contribution Habermas's theory has and can make to: pedagogy, learning and classroom interaction; the relation between education, civil society and the state; forms of democracy, reason and critical thinking; and performativity, audit cultures and accountability.

    Additionally, the book answers a range of more specific questions, including: what are the implications for pedagogy of a shift from a philosophy of consciousness to a philosophy of language?; What contribution can Habermas's re-shaping of speech act theory and communicative rationality make to theories of classroom interaction?; and how can his theories of reason and colonization be used to explore questions of governance and accountability in education?

    Section 1: Introduction

    1. Communication, Deliberation, Reason: An Introduction to Habermas, Mark Murphy and Ted Fleming

    Section 2: Key Issues and Debates in Habermas and Education

    2. Educational Implications of the Idea of Deliberative Democracy, Tomas Englund

    3. Communicative Utopia and Political Re-Education, Marianna Papasthephanou

    4. The Concept of Lifeworld and Education in Post-Modernity: A Critical Appraisal of Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action, Sigmund Ongstad

    5. Habermas, Eurocentrism and Education: The Indigenous Knowledge Debate, Raymond A. Morrow

    6. Forms of Rationality and Public Sector Reform: Habermas, Education and Social Policy, Mark Murphy

    Section 3: Habermas Applied: Critical Theory And Educational Provision

    7. Developing Competence in Collegial Spaces: Exploring Critical Theory and Community Education, John Bamber

    8. Condemned to Learn: Habermas, University and the Learning Society, Ted Fleming

    9. Learning Democratic Reason: The Adult Education Project of Jürgen Habermas, Stephen Brookfield

    10. Citizenship, Discourse Ethics and an Emancipatory Model of Lifelong Learning, Clarence W. Joldersma and Ruth Deakin Crick

    11. Practice and Theory of Narrative Inquiry in Education, Carola Conle

    12. Educating Social Workers for Lifeworld and System, Barry Cooper

    13. Jürgen Habermas, Critical Social Theory and Nursing Education: Implications for Caring in Nursing, Jane Sumner

    Section 4: Conclusion

    14. Taking Aim at the Heart of Education: Critical Theory and the Future of Learning, Ted Fleming and Mark Murphy


    Mark Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Programme Leader for Education Studies in the Faculty of Education and Children's Services, University of Chester. Previously he worked as a Lecturer and Programme Director of a Teacher Training Programme at the University of Stirling. Prior to that, Dr. Murphy worked at University College Dublin and the National University of Ireland Maynooth. He has published widely, with numerous articles in journals such as the Journal of Education Policy, Journal of European Public Policy, European Journal of Education and the International Journal of Lifelong Education. His current research interests include educational sociology, critical theory, accountability in higher education, and public sector reform.

    Ted Fleming is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Adult and Community Education at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, having previously been an Adult Education Organiser in County Louth Ireland. He is Director of the Centre for Research in Adult Learning and Education and coordinates the postgraduate research degrees in adult education at NUIM.  His research interests include transformation theory, critical theory, mature students, access and higher education. Current research projects include an EU longitudinal study of dropout and retention issues for adult students in university, and a government sponsored study of the post-degree work experiences of mature students.