Marx and Education: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Marx and Education

1st Edition

By Jean Anyon


120 pages

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There was only one Karl Marx, but there have been a multitude of Marxisms. This concise, introductory book by internationally renowned scholar Jean Anyon centers on the ideas of Marx that have been used in education studies as a guide to theory, analysis, research, and practice. Marx and Education begins with a brief overview of basic Marxist ideas and terms and then traces some of the main points scholars in education have been articulating since the late 1970s. Following this trajectory, Anyon details how social class analysis has developed in research and theory, how understanding the roles of education in society is influenced by a Marxian lens, how the failures of urban school reform can be understood through the lens of political economy, and how cultural analysis has laid the foundation for critical pedagogy in US classrooms. She assesses ways neo-Marxist thought can contribute to our understanding of issues that have arisen more recently and how a Marxist analysis can be important to an adequate understanding and transformation of the future of education and the economy. By exemplifying what is relevant in Marx, and replacing that which has been outdone by historical events, Marx and Education aims to restore the utility of Marxism as a theoretical and practical tool for educators.


"This text is an excellent introduction to the wide range of Marxist and neo-Marxist educational scholars and their significant influence on research and knowledge production. Anyon writes in a widely accessible style, making this book appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students, teachers and professors of education and social sciences. Anyon convincingly argues how and why young scholars should be exposed to and understand Marxist theory as a compelling and transformational tool." - Kristen P. Goessling, Power and Education, 2012

"In Marx and Education, Anyon has created a very useful tool for starting conversations about Marxist scholarship and activism, among teachers, students, academics, and other members of the community, that is accessible to a broad audience without losing specificity or overly simplifying concepts…She has made an important contribution. We can collectively continue the process she is helping to start by reading the book, sharing it with colleagues and friends, adopting the book for common book reading projects, forming study groups that use the book as the starting point for deeper and broader study of the Marxist literature, and by assigning it in courses that we may teach."--Education Review

"Marx and Education is a crucial text for those looking to explore how Marxist theory can be and has been applied to education. In little more than one hundred pages, Anyon provides a crucial starting point for Marxists looking to explore education theory and makes a strong case for the relevance of Marxist theory in the struggles to defend and improve public education."—International Socialist Review

"In her brief and thoughtful new volume Marx and Education, Jean Anyon casts the modern American educational system in light of Marxist theory and practice. Her project is ambitious and wide in scope."—Teachers College Record

"In this modest volume, Anyon provides a clear explanation of the tremendous scope and influence of Marx on educational practice and policy. Recommended."—Choice

Table of Contents

Series Editor Introduction


1. Neo-Marxism in Education, 1970s - 1980s

2. Neo-Marxism in Education, 1990 - 2005

3. Current Issues: Economic Problems, Education Policies

4. Extending Marxist Theory and Practice

About the Author

Jean Anyon is Professor of Social and Educational Policy in the Urban Education Doctoral Program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

About the Series

Routledge Key Ideas in Education

Much more than introductions alone, the short, virtuosic Routledge Key Ideas in Education series volumes look to shape ongoing discussions in the field of education by putting the field’s contemporary luminaries in dialogue with its foundational figures and critical topics. From new students to senior scholars, these volumes will spark the imaginations of a range of readers thinking through key ideas and education.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

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